Flynn and Brewer Receive a Howl

Lauren Lang
Wolves Writer

What happens when 150 elementary students start howling? Crunch appears of course. The Timberwolves fun-loving mascot kicked off a Reading Time-Out at Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School in Minneapolis last Tuesday afternoon by tearing into the gymnasium and surprising the crowd of excited students and teachers with a burst of confetti.

As part of the Fastbreak Foundation's Season of Giving Month, the organization teamed up with Hennepin County Medical Center and World Vision to host this month's Reading Time-Out. Students ranging from kindergarten to second grade eagerly awaited their special afternoon reading session with Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn and forward Corey Brewer.

Timberwolves Radio personality John Focke emceed the event and started things off with telling the children a little bit about the story they were going to hear, Big Wolf and Little Wolf, which illustrates the importance of sharing and caring for others.

"You know, that's the good thing about these Reading Time Outs, because you have a book that really is a kids' book, but it has a great message that anybody could take from it. You know, sharing, taking care of people and if we can instill that in our youth in America at a young age it can only do wonders for us in the future," Flynn said.

With Crunch leading the charge he got the anxious students to settle in with a follow-along clapping routine. All remained calm until Flynn and Brewer made their entrance. All at once 150 hands flew up in the air when the students were told they were allowed to ask Flynn and Brewer questions. Children asked everything from "Why do you play basketball?" to "Why do you read so much?" which Flynn simply answered, "That's how you'll become the smartest person in the world." As the last hands went up a young boy asked "Who alley-oops and who dunks?" Flynn and Brewer shared a good laugh before Brewer responded, "Jonny throws the alley-oop and I dunk it."

After the Q&A concluded Flynn and Brewer jumped right into the story. To entertain the young audience Crunch played the role of "Big Wolf" and enlisted the help of a young student to play "Little Wolf." The children giggled with delight seeing a fellow classmate acting out the book page by page with Crunch. Flynn even tried his hand at getting into character "I don't know, I think it was just a little squeak, getting a little cough going. I didn't try to get the high pitch it just came out that way, but it worked out...The voice cracking and I see the kids out there just did a little something to me," laughed Flynn.

Brewer and Flynn stressed the importance of reading to all the young minds in attendance. "It's really important, especially nowadays with everything going on in the world , you know you have to take care of each other and reading is very important because it helps you become the person you want to be and it makes you smarter and everything," Brewer said.

Flynn joined in, "Well it's always fun, because I know as a kid I wish I could have taught somebody to read. Me growing up, going to the schools I went to, you don't have people come in and tell you to read, you didn't have that type of thing. So, you know, whenever I can do something like this I really try to instill in the kids that reading can take you so much farther than a lot of things in life. So, you know, these kids really listened and I think were well behaved and I think we got our point across."

When it was finally time to say goodbye the children lined up class by class to receive their goodies from Crunch, Flynn and Brewer that included: three books (one from the Timberwolves and two from World Vision), a bracelet, a bookmark, a picture of Crunch and a 2010-11 Timberwolves Yearbook.

This wasn't Brewer's first Reading Time-Out and it won't be his last, "It's fun. It's always fun to read to the kids, just to interact with them and see them's always fun."
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