GCU Athletes, Thunder Host Third-Grade Readers
By Doug Carroll
GCU basketball players Samantha Murphy and Kyle Speed, along with Antelope mascot Thunder, emphasized the importance of reading to a ’Lopes for Literacy assembly of 150 third-graders from Carol G. Peck Elementary School in Glendale on Tuesday morning.
“Reading is the foundation of your education,” Murphy told the schoolchildren gathered in the North Gym. “Without it, you won’t do well in any subject — not even math, because you won’t understand the instructions. Reading is essential.”
Murphy said she enjoyed reading the Boxcar Children series when she was a third-grader. Speed said he was a fan of Dr. Seuss books such as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”“I like to read in the morning before I start my day and at night before I go to bed,” Speed said.
Elisa Castro, one of the third-graders, won a $1,000 scholarship to GCU in an artwork competition among three schools. Her selection earned all of Peck’s third-graders the trip to campus.
“Reading will help me be a teacher,” Castro said. “I want to be a teacher because I want to share what I know.”
Judy Gill, the principal at Peck, said reading is a “huge focus” of the school and is emphasized in a variety of ways, including a fluency program called Reading Olympics, an after-school activity known as Reading Challenge and a before-school program, Rising to Read.
The children were entertained by a skit about Thunder’s “graduation,” which he almost missed until reading about it in the GCU student publication FYP.
Dr. Tacy Ashby and Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick of the College of Education, which sponsors the ’Lopes for Literacy program, also talked to the assembly about their own reading habits.
Jose Moreno, GCU’s community outreach manager, served as emcee and kept the energy high, asking the children questions about their favorite books.
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.