Super Bowl Champ Malcolm Mitchell leads students to "Read with Malcolm"
Students across Central Louisiana participated in “Read with Malcolm” Reading Rallies as part of a three-day Geaux READ Tour presented by Share the Magic Foundation and The Rapides Foundation. Almost 3,500 students attended the rallies presented in nine schools August 29-31.
The Reading Rallies were led by Malcolm Mitchell, an author, Super Bowl Champion and Founder/CEO of Share the Magic Foundation. Mitchell, who considers a love of reading to be his greatest achievement, founded Share the Magic to transform children’s lives through literacy.
At the Reading Rallies, each student received a copy of Mitchell’s book, “The Magician’s Hat,” and participated in a high-energy, pep rally-style assembly that included a read-along and magic show.
Mitchell’s energy was contagious as students clutched their books and excitedly followed along while he read from the pages. Educators say the enthusiasm continued long after the event and Mitchell’s message had a lasting impression.
“Malcolm’s visit was so inspiring! Our students were engaged from the minute they walked into the gym. The magician was great, and having Malcolm read the book was magical,” said Karen Tutor, Avoyelles Parish Superintendent of Schools. “He was so patient and because he had every child read with him, our children experienced research-based reading activities. He did the best job with phonemic awareness I have ever seen in a group activity. Our children kept up and then they got to take the book home. That was so great! Every child should have their own books at home!”
The Geaux READ Tour was in connection with The Rapides Foundation’s ninth annual Symposium held on September 1. The Symposium, attended by members of the community, focused on Early Childhood Literacy and featured Mitchell’s presentation, Read to a Better Future.
Since founding Share the Magic Foundation, Mitchell and his organization have reached more than 400,000 students across the country and internationally through Read with Malcolm Literacy Initiatives.
His mission is to inspire young people to read by bringing book ownership to students in Title I schools and under-resourced communities. Whether a student is a striving reader or learns differently, Read with Malcolm literacy programs – both in school and virtually – provide inspiration and motivation, and carry the message that reading is the key to achieving one’s goals.
“Thank you to The Rapides Foundation for making it possible for me and my Foundation to share the magic of reading with so many children on the Geaux READ Tour,” Mitchell said. “This is a very special event and a very important message: that in order to succeed you have to read. I was very excited to see the kids at each stop on the tour and I look forward to seeing everyone in Central Louisiana again soon.”
In his three-day tour, Mitchell spread the message of the power of reading to students in nine elementary schools in nine different Central Louisiana parishes:
● West Leesville Elementary, Vernon Parish
● Colfax Elementary, Grant Parish
● Weaver Elementary, Natchitoches Parish
● Winnfield Primary, Winn Parish
● Olla Elementary, LaSalle Parish
● Jonesville Elementary, Catahoula Parish
● Oakdale Elementary, Allen Parish
● Huddle Elementary, Rapides Parish
● Bunkie Elementary, Avoyelles Parish
“This was the best program we’ve had in years! Malcolm brought it down to the students’ level and spoke to them from the heart,” said Necie Barker, Principal of Jonesville Elementary in Catahoula Parish. “He and his team are doing great things for our kids. Thanks for pouring into the children of Jonesville Elementary.”
Susan Teegardin, Principal of West Leesville Elementary in Vernon Parish, said students were still carrying around their copies of “The Magician’s Hat” long after the Reading Rally.
“That says a lot about the impact the rally had. That book became a treasure to our students,” she said. “This was such a positive experience for our students. When Malcolm shared his love of reading with our students, I think it inspired them to read more. The energy in the room that day was contagious! They were amazed that they met a Super Bowl champion that struggled with reading at a young age. This was such a powerful lesson on how tenacity and perseverance led to success.”