Web Editorial Associate
Minnesota Lynx forward Plenette Pierson and guard Renee Montgomery took a break from training camp to get out in the Minneapolis community on Thursday afternoon.
Pierson and Montgomery, along with Lynx mascot Prowl and the Lynx FastBreak Foundation, visited Pratt Community School to meet with students and help them build a greater interest in reading.
“It’s the electronic age now and reading is kind of old school, but it’s good to have kids come and see a Batman book and actually be excited about it,” Montgomery said. “What I like about being here is being hands on in the community so that I can come out here and meet the kids.”
Pierson and Montgomery spent about an hour meeting with a group of students, helping them pick out books while also signing autographs and taking pictures.
“When the students found out it meant a free book for everybody, they were beyond excited,” said Memory Heille, a third-grade teacher at Pratt Community School. “One of our missions last year was to figure out how every child could get a book and this was one of the few opportunities where this was real and it was their own. And the signatures and the Lynx players, it was icing on the cake.”
Education and fostering the love of reading are an integral part of the FastBreak Foundation’s efforts in the community. Throughout the season, the Lynx work hard to put books in the hands of Minnesota children and offer incentives to keep reading.
“What I like about coming out in the community is being able to meet the fans and faces, especially the kids,” Montgomery said. “Kids don’t really associate athletes with reading, so to show them you can do both. You can be an athlete and still be a great student and read.”
The Book Mobile offers students an incentive to read by giving them a chance to pick out their very own book to keep, allowing them to read at school and at home. Students will also receive fun prizes and meet the Lynx mascot, Prowl, as well as Lynx Players. The Book Mobile will target kindergarten to fourth grades in a 20-mile radius of the Twin Cities Metro Area.
“The kids got into the whole idea of the Lynx and the idea that the Lynx are a team that they can go see. That on top of the fact that they knew the free books were included and a real-life basketball player was going to come visit,” Heille said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better setup.”