Titans safety Hope particpates in 'Read Across America'

NASHVILLE, TN, Feb. 20, 2008- As part of Read Across America, where special guests celebrate the fun of reading by spending time with students, Titans safety Chris Hope spent his day with the children of Caldwell Enhanced Option School in Nashville. Linebacker Keith Bulluck participated in the event last year.

Dawning the easily recognizable red and white striped Dr. Seuss hat, Hope read The Cat in the Hat to the pre-k through first graders and read an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf to the second through fourth-grader group.

"This is a new and exciting experience for me but definitely something I have been looking forward to doing," said Hope. "Anytime I can give back to the community, especially to children who root for the Titans and live so close to where we play, is a blessing."

After reading, Hope opened himself up for questions fielding everything from 'Are the Titans going to win the Super Bowl next year' to 'How much money do you make'. All of course, with good intentions. In addition to sharing some of the children's favorite stories and addressing the importance of reading, Hope took advantage of his time with the kids to stress the importance of studying, listening to parents and teachers and working hard; points that were well received by administrators.

"Staying focused is something that we always talk to our kids about and I was so happy when Chris brought that up to the kids because they really listened to him," said Shameka Fentress, Library Media Specialist at Caldwell. "We really enjoyed the way he stressed the importance of staying on task, studying and just because he is a football player, he still has to study and do good work in order to get successful results on the field. Chris' visit allowed the students to make the connection between reading and being a professional." ABOUT READ ACROSS AMERICAThe National Education Association (NEA) annually sponsors Read Across America. Approaching its eleventh year NEA's Read Across America focuses the country's attention on how important it is to motivate children to read in addition to helping them master basic skills.

NEA launched the Read Across America program in 1997. The nationwide reading celebration takes place each year on March 3, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss, who epitomizes a love of learning. Dr. Seuss's use of rhyme makes his books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful.

Tennessee schools will be holding Read Across America days from February 20 to March 3, 2008.

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