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A mix of basketball and reading
GSU women's basketball team reads to Claxton students
W Claxton reading
Georgia Southern junior basketball player Samantha Williams reads to children at Claxton Elementary School. - photo by PHYLLIS ANTHONY/Special

      Some Georgia Southern Lady Eagles shared a court with Claxton Elementary students this week when the story of a star basketball player became the literary focus for kindergarteners and first graders.
      As part of the federal program Reading is Fundamental, funding is provided for students to receive books three times a year, said Phyllis Anthony, media specialist.
      For the last book distribution of the year, Anthony invited the GSU women's basketball team to celebrate in the reading event.
      "The students were so excited to receive a new book," said Anthony, "and especially to meet the Lady Eagles."
      For three consecutive days at the end of February, five basketball players came to Claxton Elementary each day, said Anthony, reading to different small groups the story of "Salt in his Shoes," a book subtitled "Michael Jordan in Pursuit of his Dreams" and written by the well-known athlete's mother and sister Deloris and Rosalyn Jordan.
      Following story time and a question and answer session, the Lady Eagles then took to the courts to teach kindergarteners and first graders some ball handing and shot making skills. Reading is Fundamental provides half the funds for each kindergartner and first grader to receive three different books during the school year. In Evans County, the Evans County Rotary Club provides the remaining half.
      "Many students had never seen girl basketball players," said Anthony, "so I'm really glad the event came together."
      About 400 children interacted with the players and received a title of their choice during the book distribution.

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