KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Wednesday, June 20, the UMKC Men’s Basketball team volunteered at the annual Summer Reading Kick-Off event hosted by Turn the Page KC. Turn the Page KC was founded by Mayor Sly James in 2011 as an initiative to raise the reading proficiency of third graders. This year’s Kick-Off event, “Reading Rocks”, took place at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City and hosted over 1,500 local elementary students. The event focused on the importance of reading and literacy and provided students with fun and creative activities.
The Men’s Basketball team greeted the students, cheering them on and giving out high-fives as they entered the Sprint Center. The student-athletes also helped facilitate different activates such as arts and crafts, musical instruments and juggling.
Sophomore Marco Smith said, “It was really fun to volunteer; I like giving back to the community in any way possible. I loved seeing the kids have fun and enjoy themselves. I even met a kid names DeMarco!” Marvin Nesbitt Jr., sophomore, noted that “It’s always fun to give back and volunteer with kids because we were all once those kids looking up to an older influence. It motivates me to continue to be a positive role model.”
Junior Xavier Bishop said that, “I really enjoy putting smiles on kids’ faces and interacting know that was where I was years ago. It was cool and unique to see how excited the kids got about reading and learning.”
“This is the fourth year we’ve volunteered at this event, and it is such fun every year,” said Amelia Howard, Assistant Director of Academic Support. “Our student-athletes love giving back to their community and are especially engaged in the Turn the Page KC mission of literacy and education.”
– UMKC –