Team: Idaho-Men's Basketball
Community Service Organization:
• Readers as Leaders
How does the team contribute to/help the organization?
Idaho basketball teamed up with the Moscow School District in 2008 to start the Readers as Leaders program. Teachers at participating elementary schools established personalized reading goals for their classes during the year. Students who reach their reading goals are awarded a special T-shirt when they reach their goal, and students wearing their shirt receive free admission to Idaho basketball games. Additionally, students who achieve their reading goals are entered into a drawing for a laptop to be announced at the final Idaho home game. Every year, Idaho has a designated Readers as Leaders game where the students are invited to the court to be recognized at halftime.
The Vandal men's basketball players make regular visits to the classrooms during the season for special reading days with the students, where they read to classes, play with students and share their experiences of growing up and balancing sports and school.
In its first year in 2008-09, the Readers as Leaders program reached more than 1,000 students in five Moscow elementary schools. The next year, that number increased to 1,400 and last season, four more Moscow-area schools joined the program and saw more than 2,000 students achieve their reading goals. In its fourth year this season, that number is expected to increase yet again.