DURHAM, N.C. -- The 23rd edition of the Read with the Blue Devils program concluded as senior Duke student-athletes Megan Clark and Kathryn Eckhart visited Bethesda Christian Academy to share their stories and inspire younger generations to use reading as a tool to reach their dreams. The two seniors have been important participants within the RWBD program over their four-year career.
Kathryn Eckhart stated, “The RWBD program is important to me because I love being able to teach kids that great things can come as a result of reading, listening to your parents, and working hard in everything you do.”
The RWBD program focuses on third-grade students reading each night for a minimum of 15 minutes and receiving incentives as they finish each of several participation levels. Each level requires the students to read for 20 days and to have their parent sign off on their progress. The incentives the students receive for completion include Duke face decals, Duke football posters, and two tickets to the Men’s Basketball banquet.
The Durham Sheriff Department’s Sargent Mark Manning and Deputy Lindsey Hamlett begin each visit discussing the consequences of bad and good choices. The officers reiterate how Duke student-athletes are students first, and work extremely hard to maintain their excellence. Their successes as student-athletes are a result of making good choices day in and day out.
During the Spring 2016 semester the Read with the Blue Devils program visited 11 elementary schools in the Durham community. Teams represented were women’s basketball, fencing, field hockey, football, men’s tennis, track and field, and swimming and diving. Student-athletes read two short stories to the third-graders followed by a question and answer session. The third grade students asked questions ranging from, “Do you like the school down the road?” to, “Describe a typical day in the life as a student-athlete.”
The RWBD program is one of the ways in which Duke student-athletes engage with the greater Durham Community and provide leadership.
Senior Megan Clark stated, “Doing something as simple as reading to kids in the community and answering their questions can have such a great impact. I’ve had kids come up to me days and months after I’ve been in their school, telling me how excited they were to have us spend time with them.”