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Flames Reading Club Kicks Off With A Bang

September 28, 2006
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Larry Blair reads a book at the motivational kick off.

Larry Blair reads a book at the motivational kick off.

Headed by the Liberty University men's basketball program, the Flames Reading Club kicked off its 2006-07 season at the Vines Center on Thursday with a motivational meeting. 

The Flames Reading Club annually consists of university student-athletes and members of the general student body population who serve as reading mentors called "Reading Buddies" for children in the Lynchburg City School system. "This gives Liberty students and student-athletes the opportunity to serve in the community and make a difference," said men's basketball head coach Randy Dunton

Nine Lynchburg City elementary schools currently participate in the program, including: William Marvin Bass, Heritage Elementary, Sandusky Elementary, Sheffield Elementary, Paul Munro, Robert S. Payne, Bedford Hills, Linkehorne and Perrymont. 

Liberty University students work with Title 1 eligible students, which consist of students in grades 2-5, who benefit from having a Reading Buddy. Liberty University students goes to the elementary school once a week during a designated time and helps the students improve their reading skills. 

Liberty University students attend an orientation meeting with the City Schools Instructional Reading Specialist, as well as Title 1 teachers and principals, to prepare for their service as Reading Buddies. 

The motivational kick off on Thursday had athletic demonstrations by Liberty's volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams. Head coaches Shane Pinder (volleyball), Carey Green (women's basketball) and Dunton all gave motivational speeches to the kids as did Director of Athletics Jeff Barber. Junior guard Dwight Brewington who has 60% of hearing loss in both ears, spoke with the kids about the importance of reading and how he has succeeded in the classroom despite his hearing loss. Senior guard Larry Blair read a story to the children before the student-athletes and kids had interaction time on the court. 

"There is a real excitement about the opportunities that the university family has to build bridges with the community," said Dunton. "I am excited about serving these nine schools and 250 kids over 20 weeks during the school year."