1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read
Source(s): National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau

Start a Program in Your Community

The 2nd & 7 Foundation welcomes all college and high school athletic programs that wish to "Tackle Illiteracy" in their community. Volunteers are needed to connect student-athletes with local 2nd graders and work with The 2nd & 7 Foundation to administer the program. 

To learn more about the opportunity to volunteer and start a program in your area, please reach out to:

Ohio

janet.kassoff@secondandseven.com

614-825-0602

Outside of Ohio

sara.boyden@secondandseven.com

614-354-6064

 

FAQs

A. Program Contact

This person works directly with The 2nd & 7 Foundation office and can be anyone who:

  • Is willing to take on the responsibility of coordinating student-athlete visits to 2nd-grade classrooms
  • Can be the point of contact for all book shipments
  • Can coordinate all program follow-up including sending/posting pictures and communication with 2nd & 7
  • Will contact elementary schools to set up visits
  • Will complete a brief end of year survey
  • Can track visits (# of student-athletes, what teams, how many children are visited)

Examples of Main Contacts

  • Guidance Counselors
  • Coaches
  • Athletic Department staff/administration
  • Literacy Specialists
  • Student-Athlete representatives
  • Alumni
  • Community volunteers

B. Student-athlete role models

  • College athletes (current*/former)
  • High school athletes
  • Local professional athletes (current/former)

*please check with the university regarding NCAA compliance for college athletes’ participation and appearances

C. 2nd-grade classrooms

WHO: The core of our program is 2nd-grade students, an age at which the ability to read is critical. Our goal has always been to visit the children in schools where the need is the greatest.   

WHERE: For the convenience of the readers/role-models, keep in mind that the elementary schools should be within reasonable driving distance. We recommend no more than 10-15 miles.

WHY: Any elementary is eligible for this program, but our priority is to serve the schools with the greatest need.  The metric often used is the percentage of children on free/reduced lunch plans.             

HOW OFTEN: When starting this outreach in your community, please keep in mind that we would like this to become a sustainable program.  Try to commit to a consistent schedule – visits once a month, 2 visits to each school in your district per year, etc.

D. Books from The 2nd & 7 Foundation

The  2nd & 7 Foundation writes its own books that contain valuable life lessons to be discussed with kids – Kindness is Contagious, Healthy Choices, Teamwork, Be a Good Sport, Follow Your Dreams and many more.

The 2nd & 7 Main Contact in your area is responsible for getting the appropriate number of books to each scheduled school visit.  When distributing books in your community, we recommend putting a label in each book that identifies your partnership with 2nd & 7 for this outreach; however, this is not required.

A. Submit a reading program agreement using this link

  • Include all 2nd-grade school locations that will be visited during the year in your community (keep all other information on the form the same)

B. A representative from The 2nd & 7 Foundation will be in touch to help you with all of the next steps.

A. Every school is different, as are the teachers and administrators.  Some will want all of the students together in a large group, while others will want the kids in their individual classrooms.  This also depends on how many readers you have for any given school. We recommend a minimum of two athletes per classroom. Use your own judgment and work with the staff at the school to develop a game plan.

B. There are never too many readers, and we encourage smaller ratios between 2nd graders and readers to make the visit more personal and memorable. (CODE OF CONDUCT: All student-athletes must follow the rules and standards of the school district they visit.)

C. Tips for Readers:

  • Once you arrive, report to the main office to find the classroom(s) for the visit. 
  • If there are a lot of student-athletes/readers and a small number of 2nd graders, please split the children into small groups to make the experience more personal. 
  • In class, introduce yourself and the athletes to the kids.  Talk about college life, your major, your sport, etc.
  • Interact with the kids.  Ask questions like: Why is it important to read? What is your favorite book? What is college? Do student-athletes need to read too?
  • Athlete(s) read(s) the book to kids.  (It’s always a good idea to review the book before reading to a class for the first time!)
  • Talk about the book: main characters, lesson learned, what happened, etc?
  • Allow time for questions from the 2nd graders at the end.
  • Tell them you brought a surprise for them (books). Pass out the books (gifted from the foundation).  
  • Take group pictures and say goodbye!

We realize you may be reading to kids at a different type of venue.  Please use these steps as a guide for your particular outreach.

A. Social Media

Check with the school staff to ensure all students can be photographed (some schools require photo release waivers) before taking and posting any pictures.  We encourage you to take pictures at each visit and share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Facebook: The2ndand7Foundation
  • Twitter:@secondandseven (#readersandleaders, #hogmollies, #payitforward, #tacklingilliteracy)
  • Instagram: @secondandseven

B. Communication to 2nd & 7

Please send a brief email summary to The 2nd & 7 Foundation with a group picture, the number of books distributed, the name of the school visited, and the teams that read so we can share the news.

C. Thank you to the school

Thank you letters and/or emails should be sent to the schools to thank them for participating in our  ‘Tackling Illiteracy’ program.

We are proud to offer this program to your community and in communities all across the country at no cost.  Our fundraisers in central Ohio and our online giving campaigns benefit schools everywhere by providing free books to kids in need. We are often asked how our National Programs can support The 2nd & 7 Foundation and sustain the program in their area.  We have provided a few suggestions for how you can engage your community for support.

A. Make a Donation

Individuals and corporations can make donations on our website by visiting www.secondandseven.com.  Donations can be made in honor of or on behalf of someone in your community.

B. Sponsor a Reading

Local businesses can cover the cost of a reading by making a $250 donation. Those businesses can then include their name or logo on each book given out.

C. Donate Auction Items

At some of our annual fundraisers, we host live and silent auctions.  We are always looking for new and unique items to offer our supporters. Items such as tickets, sporting gear, etc. can be sent to the Columbus office and a donation receipt will be provided.

D. Create an Event

Many communities have hosted their own type of fundraiser with proceeds benefiting The 2nd & 7 Foundation.  Ideas include golf outings, 5k’s, bake sales, or general campaigns asking the local community for support.