CFCC men’s basketball players and local 5th graders “Score Big with Books”

The Cape Fear Community College men’s basketball team recently joined forces with Forest Hills Global Elementary School in hopes to help improve reading skills for 5th grade boys. The “Score Big with Books” program was a six week joint venture created to bring selected 5th graders to the Schwartz Center for reading and basketball.

Each Monday afternoon, the students took a short field trip to the Schwartz Center in downtown Wilmington, where they meet with Head Coach Ryan Mantlo and the Sea Devil basketball players. Each young man was paired with a basketball player, where they read together and talked about the importance of academics and hard work in the classroom. After an hour of reading together, the books hit the bleachers and the kids partook in the early stages of practice with the Sea Devils.

Together they read 2 books; Michael Jordan, a biography, and Shadow over the Backcourt, a fictional basketball story. On the final day, the boys finished the second book, focusing on things such as vocabulary, story inference, and punctuation. The idea was to bolster faltering reading scores based on last year’s EOG scores while preparing the boys for 6th grade reading standards.

“This was great, for not only the kids, but for our players as well,” stated head coach Ryan Mantlo. “These kids look up to the players and our athletes can really make a difference. We were thrilled to partner with Forest Hills Global Elementary School.”

Special thanks to Ryan Mantlo of CFCC, Mrs. Debra Greenwood, principle of FHES and Ms. Alasha Dixon, school counselor for their efforts in making this new, and hopefully fruitful, academic venture a success.