Ocean City Today

Reading: a home run for kids

Decatur’s baseball team fields questions and reads to elem. school children
By Kara Hallissey | Mar 30, 2017

(March 31, 2017) Fifteen Stephen Decatur High School baseball players and two female managers of the team started their Tuesday morning by reading to thrilled Ocean City Elementary School students.

From 9-10 a.m., the entire team roster went into prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade classrooms to read books about baseball and other topics.

“We love it and make a conscious effort to have our players be selfless servants and upstanding citizens to the community,” Assistant Baseball Coach Tyler Riley said. “[Reading in the classrooms] shows the younger generation there is more than being out on a baseball diamond and we are making an effort to reach out to them.”

Senior Brice Messick, who had an internship last semester with gym teacher Mark Engle, attended Ocean City Elementary School.

“It is cool to come back and read to the kids and see the teachers,” Messick said. “I love giving back to the kids, seeing what they’ve done and interacting with them.”

Junior Ryan Duncan echoed Messick and added how reading to the students helps the baseball players as well.

“These kids look up to us and see us as role models,” Duncan said. “The interaction helps us. Its cool interacting with them, answering their questions and seeing them have a good time.”

The first graders in Lauren Truitt’s classroom were excited to ask the players questions.

“They love anytime someone comes and reads to them,” Truitt said. “These kids get motivated by seeing what they can be when they’re older and interacting with people they wouldn’t normally, on a daily basis.”

This is the second year the high School baseball players have read to the Ocean City Elementary school students, as well as to students at Showell and Buckingham elementary schools.

“This shows how important reading and education is. It has an impact and is vital to success,” Riley said.

In addition, the varsity and junior varsity baseball squads each host a bingo night at a nursing home in Berlin during the season as a community service, he added.

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