Dacula Football Players Show Elementary Students That Real Men Read
Rising seniors on the varsity football team give back to supporters by serving as great educational role models for their young fans.
For National Read Across America Day on Friday March 2, the 11th grade Dacula High School football players took part in a program called "Real Men Read." The rising seniors put on their jerseys and served as great role models by showing some of their smaller supporters at Dacula, Mulberry, and Alcova elementary schools the importance of reading and education.
“We started a program called 'Real Men Read' where our rising seniors go to the three local cluster elementary schools in their game jerseys to read to students,” Coach Jared Zito said. “They arrive early and greet students as they come to school, help with the morning announcements and then go into the classrooms to read and promote reading to the elementary students.”
Zito started this program six years ago when he was with North Forsyth. The program grew each year, and he was happy to bring the program to Dacula.
“When I came to Dacula it was one of the things that I thought was not only a great leadership opportunity for our rising seniors, but also a great way to connect with local schools and all the elementary kids that need people to look up to,” Zito explained. “I think it is a win-win for everyone.”
High school football players are often given an immediate status from young children. This program is a great way for these elementary school children to learn by example.
“For the young kids, seeing these guys want to come into their school and read to them promotes something that most of these kids maybe do not like or are struggling with,” Zito said. “They are also promoting education, being in school, being a good role model and setting a good example. I think kids today more than anything learn from each other, and they try to do what the other guys do even more so than what us adults tell them to do. So for the little kids it is just a great mentoring opportunity.”
This is also great leadership opportunity for the rising seniors to experience as a group. They know it is a good way to give back to the community and win over some supporters. What they don’t realize and expect is how much this program gives back to them.
“They view it as stuff they have to do as being a part of the team and a part of the program, but it is amazing that when they are finished with the opportunity, how much they actually get out of it," Zito said. "I hear them talk about the little kids, what they said to them, and all of the things that the little kids said. They realize how important it is that they act right and do right. They really think they are going to be giving a lot, and at the end of the opportunity they feel like they actually received much more than they gave.”
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Varsity Football – Rising Seniors
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