BLADENSBURG — How are pickles made? How can teamwork help the Hog Mollies throw a great pickle pie party? Just ask any East Knox second-grade student. The pupils know the story thanks to Kenyon College athletes and the Second and Seven Literacy Program.
The Second and Seven Literacy Program was started in 1999 by three former Ohio State University football players, Luke Fickell, Ryan Miller and Mike Vrabel. Besides football, they were passionate about literacy and providing positive role models for children in central Ohio.
East Knox gifted intervention teacher Karen Robbins learned about the program, designed to get free books to all second-grade students within a school, from Krista Tarachuk, a retired Thomas Worthington High School librarian who is working with the Second and Seven Foundation to spread the program beyond the immediate Columbus vicinity.
Once the books were delivered, East Knox Elementary invited Kenyon football coach Chris Monfiletto to have his team participate. Monfiletto was enthusiastic and sent four Kenyon football players to East Knox Elementary School on Sept. 12.
“I was so excited,” said Robbins. “Once we agreed on a time, the rest was perfect in every way.”
The college athletes were Brad Couts, linebacker; William Clements, defensive back; Reed Franklin, linebacker; and Dan Shannon, quarterback. They read “The Hog Mollies and the Pickle Pie Party” in all second-grade classes. The book is about the importance of teamwork and cooperation. The football players led discussions about the book and each second-grade student was presented with his or her own copy to keep.
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