Tolliver Surprises Class With Reading Time-Out

Naomi Ross and her fifth-grade classmates at Ramsey Fine Arts School got a special surprise last week. As part of I Look To Read Month, the class has guest readers come in and share a story with the group, but this guest was unique.

Last week, Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver was the special guest reading to the students.

“We usually have a guest reader; I didn’t know who it would be—no one does but Ms. Aponte,” said Naomi, who met Tolliver through a Timberwolves’ Shopping For Kids event and stayed in touch. “So I thought it would be someone’s parent or someone’s grandma. And then they said they had someone who was going to talk to us and read to us. And then Anthony Tolliver came in and everyone was really excited and wanted his autograph right way.”

Tolliver spent some time reading to the kids and talking to them about reading to achieve as well as sharing a life lesson through the book he read.

“I think the kids really learned something from it, and I enjoyed myself and definitely had a lot of fun reading to the kids,” Tolliver said.

Marlene Aponte, the kids’ teacher, said it was a unique experience for both herself and for her students to have an athlete like Tolliver come and participate in the event.

“He was so generous with his time to come share a story with this class and having him do community work was a surprise to me,” she said. “I’ve never had someone like that come to the class and read. It was, it was just really, really amazing. I felt like anything is possible.”

Naomi’s mom, Brooke Ross, said Naomi always keeps track of how Tolliver and the Timberwolves is doing, so it was a treat for him to come by and hang out with the kids.

“She always talks about Anthony—the Timberwolves game is on, she’s cheering for Anthony. Or she’ll ask, ‘Have you talked to Anthony; can I see Anthony?,’” Brooke Ross said. “So I thought, why not reach out to him and the Timberwolves and see if he could come in and read to the class so it could be something special for everyone?

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