Bucks Help Children Discover Reading

Samuel Dalembert and Larry Sanders help teach a youngster that words matter.

Before returning to the court following their win against Indiana, the Milwaukee Bucks got their hands dirty for a good cause… literally.  

Pairing with Sam’s Hope Literacy Foundation, the entire team, along with mascot Bango and members of the Energee! dance team, made a trip to Milwaukee’s Discovery World on Thursday, Nov. 15, for an afternoon of fun with area school children.

Participating in the Sam’s Hope “Words Matter” campaign, the team stressed the importance of reading and education to third graders from Urban Day, La Causa Charter, Silver Spring Elementary and Hartford University School through art projects and a reading Rally.

“This full team event is the best influence for the kids,” spokeswoman for Sam’s Hope Barbara Garner said.”
“They’re great role models and they interact incredibly with the kids and we couldn’t ask for more. The kids really listen to the players and when they encourage them to read at home and succeed at school it really means something to these kids.”

Throughout the course of the event, each player and child had the opportunity to write why “words mattered” to them as part of an artistic collage and painting. Featuring painted handprints from the players, each school will receive a completed painting to hang in its lobby.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful that they took the time to come out with these kids,” Ann Deuser, who helped facilitate the art projects, said. “To see them in an artistic and academic setting is huge.”

Having partnered with the Milwaukee Bucks for 15 years, Sam’s Hope strives to not only provide children with books of their own, but encourages inner city children to read and achieve in school.

“It’s been a nice day to come and spend with the kids and to get to promote something like reading,” guard Mike Dunleavy said. “Obviously, everyone here knows how important education is and being able to read and being able to communicate.

“We’re just happy to be able to participate with these kids and hopefully they’ll learn something today. They look up to us literally, but hopefully they’ll look up to us because we’re educated and know how to read.”

After washing up, the team held a Reading Rally for the children, where each received a book along with a special message from the Bucks.

“I was very happy to see that you guys did the art projects and wrote down why words matter,” forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute said. “It’s very important to understand when growing up the importance of words. Just as my teammates matter to me, your brothers, sisters, moms and dads matter to you and the words that you say to them matter.”

In addition to the books received at the Reading Rally, thousands of books were sent back to the schools for distribution to the students and their families thanks to the sponsorship of UPS Stores, Toys For Tots, Scholastic and New Threads of Hope.