The Girls Delaware FC ’03 Girls team has a winning tradition on and off the field. This October while at the WAGS tournament, the team partnered with the United Way of Delaware to prepare books for children in the hopes of motivating them to become lifelong readers. “We usually have a team activity each time we go away to a tournament or a showcase,” said Coach Kyle Ellis. “When our team’s social committee suggested working with the United Way as the activity for WAGS, it was a no brainer. “
The girls gathered on Saturday night to create inspirational book marks and leave motivational messages in the backs of books for children of level 1 reading aptitudes. The girls chose from a list of Dr. Seuss quotes such as, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book…” to add to the back of the colorful bookmarks. While on the inside back cover of each book, phrases such as, “Reading is a part of everything we do. Without it, we wouldn’t know our plays in soccer…” along with the first name and number or position of the DEFC player were inserted to encourage reading or underscore its importance.
According to uwde.org, children who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than those who do. And not every child has easy access to books. In response, the DEFC ’03 Girls families donated Berenstain Bears: We Love Soccer books for the United Way to distribute to classrooms in Delaware as part of their Get Delaware Reading campaign.
“We hope that our players serve as good role models for these young readers and set an example that conveys athletes are readers too,” said Ellis.
And just how did this team do at WAGS? They went undefeated in the top flight, showing strength of skill and character.