Pierce, West Join Students in Play at RTA event

View Photos of the Play

BOSTON – The annual Read to Achieve play supported by Kia Motors and ReadBoston is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in the Boston area. Students and players alike put a lot of time and energy into the performance. This year was no different as Paul Pierce and Delonte West joined third, fourth and fifth graders from Winthrop Elementary School in their production of the “True Story of the Three Little Pigs.”

Going back a few weeks, Winthrop students were selected to perform the play based on their good grades, attendance and attitude. Several practices ensued as each child worked to memorize their lines. Simultaneously, Pierce and West were both studying their lines in between basketball practices and games in order to be prepared for the show.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce joins students in a "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" play.
Brian Babineau/Celtics

As the day drew near, members of the Celtics Community Relations department arrived on site to meet the amazing students and help with set decorations. Following a rehearsal with the staff all that was left to do was perform the play live in front of fellow Winthrop students and parents.

Jumping back to this morning, the day of the performance, everything was set and ready to go. The straw, stick and brick houses were lined up on the stage, the microphones were on and the other accessories were in order as the students anxiously awaited the arrival of Pierce and West.

“I can’t wait for them to come,” exclaimed one student. “This play is going to be so much fun!”

Meeting in the library to go over the play as a whole group, Pierce and West were greeted my 13 happy children as each one wanted to offer their help with the players’ lines!

As the group rehearsed the play, Pierce had a question.

“Do I really drag the children who play pigs off the stage?" he jokingly asked. "Because I don’t want any parents to be mad at me.”

After being assured that the parents would be ok, the group moved to the auditorium where the audience erupted in delight after Pierce, West and the rest of the cast was introduced.

The play generated a lot of laughter as Pierce performed the role of the Wolf and West kept the play moving as the narrator. In the end, the wolf was reprimanded by his grandmother after being arrested following the destruction of two pigs’ houses.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the morning came as Pierce and West spoke to the audience about the importance of reading.

“Reading helps improve every aspect of your life,” said the captain. “I’ve got a 2-year-old daughter and I read to her every day so that she knows how important it is.”

West, then, addressed the group about following their dreams. “When I was your age, the best advice I got was about following my dreams,” said the guard. “Don’t let naysayers bring you down. Set goals and reach them.”