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Press Release: DeSales Athletes Help Promote Children's Literacy
Date: 11/21/2008

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DeSales Athletes Help Promote Children's Literacy

DeSales athletes and staff members on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have joined efforts with the Cops 'n' Kids Children's Literacy Program in a number of activities to benefit children throughout our community.

"Cops 'n' Kids is a feel good win/win for all involved," says Fred Richter, women's basketball coach at DeSales. "The young students love the interaction with college athletes and the athletes get to give back to the community as role models."

The SAAC holds numerous book drives and readings throughout the year as an effort to promote children's literacy. The current SAAC book drive ends December 6. SAAC and student athletes place collection boxes in campus buildings including McShea Student Center, Billera Hall, Priscilla Payne Hurd Science Center and residence halls. Donations can also be made to any student athlete and also at the concession stand at any DeSales athletic event for a free hotdog and soda.

To date, DeSales athletes have interacted with hundreds of elementary students and have visited Cleveland Elementary in Allentown, Freemansburg Elementary in Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley Academy in Bethlehem, and Marvine Elementary in Bethlehem. The athletes have read to the children of these schools and each child selects a book collected by the athletes' book drive.

"A lot of these kids look up to us as student athletes and come to many of our games," says DeSales women's basketball player LeighAnn Burke, a senior mathematics major from Philadelphia, Pa. "It's great to be able to give back and help them by donating books."

Over 200 athletes from all sports teams are involved in the book drive. Each team also competes for the highest number of books collected.

The Cops 'n' Kids Children's Literacy Program, an award winning program, provides children with new or gently used books that have been donated by individuals and organizations throughout the Lehigh Valley area. To date, the organization has helped distribute over 200,000 books.

"I think the Cops n Kids Book Drive is a great cause that I'm very happy to be a part of," says DeSales junior Matt Zwetolitz, sport and exercise major from Whitehall, Pa., and a member of the men's basketball team. "This is something the DeSales basketball program, as well as the other athletic programs, take very seriously."

Timothy Nieman, baseball coach at DeSales, and his team began working on book drives with Beverly Bradley, of Cops 'n' Kids, in 2005. In addition to Richter, other faculty and staff members who are involved include Scott Coval, men's basketball coach, and Sarah Fosdick, women's field hockey coach.

"I love when institutions have a 'heart'," says Beverly Bradley, president of the Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program. "DeSales University and its student athletes certainly do."

Upcoming events also include a SAAC book drive held at Lehigh Valley Academy on January 9, 2009. This event involves the men and women's basketball teams reading and donating books to community children. The women's field hockey team will also team up with Lutron, a local lighting company, to help with the book drive. The books will later be distributed at Bethlehem's Marvine Elementary by the DeSales field hockey team and members of Lutron at a later date.

For more information please contact Fred Richter, director of student athlete services / women's basketball coach, at (610)-282-1100 ext. 1609 or at fred.richter@desales.edu.

Press Release: DeSales Athletes Help Promote Children's Literacy | Posted on: 11/21/2008

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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