Women’s basketball joins group of athletes who read books to elementary school students


Tricia Zinnecker

K-Park sophomore and basketball player Heather Paterakis reading to a student at Elm Grove elementary school. Photo by Tricia Zinnecker, Elm Grove first grade teacher

Katey Searcy, Staff Reporter

The Kingwood Park basketball players enter the classroom of Elm Grove elementary school, ready to make a young child’s day simply by reading stories, listening to adventures or allowing small fingers to play with their hair.

“I love getting to know the kids and getting a chance to instill a love of reading in children.” said Erin O’Shea, a player on last year’s JV team. “I love reading and I hope that the future generations that I impact will as well.”

The K-Park girls team decided to make a new tradition by partnering up to join the boys basketball reading buddies, who visit Elm Grove before school on Thursdays.

Shelby Rollo, a returning varsity basketball player, enjoys the opportunity to be with the kids, despite having her foot in a boot from a softball sliding incident. Rollos’ favorite part at Elm Grove is the time spent playing with the children while they read with them.

“One girl I met loved to braid my hair in all different sections of my head while I read,” Rollo said. “And this little boy used my walking boot as a drum.”

The reading sessions only last 45 minutes once a month, but they create a positive impact on the elementary students.

“They look up to us and want to be like us one day,” Rollo said, “so that makes us be the best that we can be to set the right example.”