Greg Stiemsma Stops By St. Anthony Park Elementary For A Reading Timeout

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Alex Conover
Web Editorial Associate

Email / Twitter

The fifth-graders at St. Anthony Park Elementary filed excitedly into the cafeteria, anticipating some special visitors to help them celebrate their reading achievements.

The students were assigned to complete 500 pages of reading, and their reward for hitting that mark was a Reading Timeout with Greg Stiemsma, Crunch and John Focke of the Wolves Radio Network.

“They were really excited,” said Tari Hella-Yelk, a fifth-grade teacher at the school. “These kids love reading, they already naturally read on their own, so this was just a nice way to recognize what they already do at home.”

After a quick introduction, Stiemsma explained how reading is a valuable skill that he continues to use every day as an NBA player.

“Learning how to study, learning how to read a scouting report, all that stuff is like my homework now,” Stiemsma said. “Read up on the other teams, see what their tendencies are, see what they like to do. Even now, just playing basketball, it’s a lot more reading than you think.”

If some of the kids in the crowd want to become professional athletes, they will have to keep reading like Stiemsma did and continue reaching goals in their studies.

“Education and reading were really important when I was growing up,” Stiemsma added. “It helped me get a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, and I worked really hard at school there.”

From there, the students split into groups and tackled a book. They took turns reading out loud and taking notes; at the end, they presented the words that were challenging to them and what they meant.

“We have a lot of sports fans, and these kids already like to read,” Hella-Yelk said. “So this is just a celebration.”

Education and fostering the love of reading are an integral part of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ FastBreak Foundation's efforts in the community, and March is the month when this endeavor takes center stage. During Read to Achieve month, presented by Travelers, the Timberwolves work hard to put books in the hands of Minnesota children and offer incentives to keep reading. The FastBreak Foundation is proud to be supported by the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation.

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