PORTLAND -- Football players from Oregon State University were scoring points in Portland classrooms Friday by encouraging students to read during the summer.
“Pick up a book two or three times a day, even if it’s just for a few minutes,” said defensive end Obum Gwacham.
Portland School Board member and OSU alum Pam Knowles arranged for 18 players to visit Vestal School and Rigler Elementary.
“Coming from them, the advice is huge!” said teacher Kris King, “They hear it from me all year.”
Lineman Edwin Delva read the story “Ferdinand the Bull” to Vestal students, while in another classroom Gwacham described a strategy for success,
“You have to go to your classes, you have to do your homework, you have to listen to your teachers. You have to do all that if you want to make it to the next level,” he said.
Gwacham should know. He’s a business/marketing major with a 3.5 GPA.
“I was very impressed by how articulate they were. Many adults can’t stand in front of a class and comfortably interact,” said Vestal principal Emily Glasgow.
Glasgow was happy to have help with trying to avoid what she calls the summer slump.
“Students need to be reading 20 to 30 minutes a day to avoid losing ground over the summer,” she said.
Asked for his favorite book from grade school, Gwacham had this recommendation,
“Anything by Judy Blume. I read 'Fudge-a-mania' four or five times,” he said.
The Beavers ended the visit with a win, three months before the season even starts. Students were inspired and the players had gained a few new fans.
“Please stay for recess,” one second-grader shouted.
And a second-grade teacher with a Ducks lanyard around her neck yelled, “Go Beavs!”