OXFORD, Miss. - Members of several Ole Miss athletics teams recently took time out to visit three local elementary schools as part of Reading with the Rebels, in which student-athletes give back to the community through the Ole Miss Rebel Ready program.
Rebel student-athletes from a wide variety of sports read to and interacted with students at Bramlett Elementary, Oxford Elementary and Della Davidson Elementary last week.
"I am very impressed with not only the turnout, but how engaging our student-athletes were. They realize the importance of getting out in the community and how spending time with our youth can make a big difference. Both the kids and our student-athletes had a great time with this program," said André Harris, Student-Athlete Development Intern.
Several members of the women's basketball team took part in Reading with the Rebels, and all had a great time interacting with the kids.
"I was always told laughter is the best medicine. To have the ability to put a smile on kids' faces and laughter in their hearts, while receiving the same is one of the best feelings of all time," said senior Courtney Marbra. "I looked at them and saw myself at that age hoping I could make the event just as enjoyable as it was when I experienced it! From the kids' reactions, I knew Reading with the Rebels was a success! Hotty Toddy!"
The kids were excited to have the student-athletes visit their schools and read to them, said Dr. Phyllis Brooks, assistant principal at Bramlett Elementary.
"It was amazing how the athletes arrived with such strong leadership ability, demonstrating a positive character, and were still able to excite each one of our little people. To be able to communicate with them on their level was so rewarding to see. In fact, the athletes, too, showed that they are still `young at heart'," Brooks said.
Through Rebel Ready, Ole Miss student-athletes stay actively involved in both the Oxford and University communities. In addition to Reading with the Rebels, student-athletes regularly participate in activities such as visiting patients in area hospitals, being mentors to elementary school students, visiting senior adults at local retirement centers, holding several "Meet the Rebels" days throughout the year, and giving numerous talks on subjects such as drug awareness and staying in school to area students.
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