Student athletes participate in Read Across America


Photo courtesy of the Office of Athletics

Student athletes enjoyed reading to students in kindergarten, first and second grade for Read Across America.

Brittney Scardina, Sports Editor

CSUSM’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) partnered with T.H.E Leadership Academy in Vista to read to different grade levels from Mar. 1 to Mar. 5 to celebrate Read Across America. 

Read Across America is an annual event created by the National Education Association to celebrate and bring awareness to the importance of reading. 

Devyn Kelley, a sophomore on the women’s soccer team and SAAC’s community outreach chair, helps lead community outreach and volunteer opportunities. T.H.E Leadership Academy reached out to SAAC, asking if they would like to participate in Read Across America by having student athletes read to kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms through Zoom. 

“I started communicating with one of the kindergarten teachers and one of the administrators in the office, and we put the whole thing together so we could have different student athletes on those meeting days read to kids,” said Kelley.

SAAC gathered eight student athletes from six different teams to read to nine classrooms over Zoom. Sarah Aragon, SAAC president and a member on the women’s soccer team, helped Kelley plan the event virtually.

“It was so fun. The kids were very interactive, and it was so cool because they were super excited to see a new face, especially a college student,” said Kelley. 

SAAC has participated in similar events in the past during the week of Read Across America. It was different planning the event virtually. In the past, Crash the Cougar, CSUSM’s mascot, was present at the event.

To plan the event virtually, student athletes had to find what time that worked best for them, and teachers from T.H.E Leadership Academy needed to find time in their day to allow student athletes to join in over Zzoom to read to the kids.

Partnering with T.H.E Leadership Academy was a great experience for the athletes. “They were really nice about the communication and emails and overall it was a really great partnership,” said Aragon. 

The National Read Across America Day is on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so many student athletes read a Dr. Seuss book to the kids in each class.

This event was a great way to get student athletes involved and raise awareness around Read Across America. Aragon and Kelley both expressed satisfaction with the event. “It was a really good experience for everyone,” said Aragon.

SAAC plans to participate in this event again in the future, finding that it was an excellent way to connect with kids in local schools and encouraging student athletes to be involved with the community. 

To learn more about Read Across America, visit

Brittney Scardina is a senior at CSUSM who is majoring in literature and writing with a minor in communications. She is the Sports Editor for The Cougar Chronicle. After graduation, she hopes to move to New York and find an internship within the journalism field. Brittney also enjoys playing softball, reading and spending time with family and friends in her free time.