July 8, 2005
As in most college towns, student-athletes are considered “heroes” to the children in the community. Tallahassee is no different and several Florida State coaches and student-athletes used their “star power” this spring to get the attention of area youngsters.
In April, FSU athletics teamed with Ounce of Prevention and South Side Schools in Leon County to launch a program to promote reading and literacy. FSU purchased more than 200 books entitled “Let’s Go `Noles,” which were designed to promote reading, and distributed them to every elementary school in Tallahassee.
“We know how much athletics can be a powerful and positive influence for our young people and we felt this was an exceptional way to tie in the need for all students to excel academically,” Associate Athletics Director Pam Overton, who heads FSU Athletic Student Services and Life Skills programs, said. “Our student-athletes do a great deal of community service and are more than willing to help, especially when it comes to children.”
Among those Seminoles who participated in the distribution was LaToya Legree, a junior on the track and field team.
“I know nationwide reading is not highly-promoted, especially among minorities, and it was important to me to be there to help promote better reading levels, especially since I myself am African-American,” Legree said. “The most important part of the day was interacting with the children. They look at us like we’re amazing and I hope by spending time with them, it helps them to strive to be better students.”