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Browns kick off TD for Reading program

Posted Sep 10, 2013

GARFIELD HEIGHTS -- The Cleveland Browns kicked off their 2013 Touchdown for Reading program at the Garfield Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

GARFIELD HEIGHTS -- The Cleveland Browns kicked off the 2013 Touchdown for Reading program Tuesday at the Garfield Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

In recognition of the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Browns tight end Jordan Cameron and linebacker Jabaal Sheard read a patriotic book with 70 first-grade students from Elmwood Elementary School.

“The fact that the Browns are encouraging this and have incentives for these kids when they reach a certain point during the year, it’s really cool because reading takes your mind off of whatever,” Cameron said. “If you’re going through something rough, you can read a book, dive into a novel and kind of get away from the world you’re in. Encouraging reading is huge for vocabulary and just to get better in school.”

Sheard added, “It’s great to get little kids reading. They opened up a new library in a tough area, so kids can come out and get a chance to read. These little kids look up to us. They see us on the TV. We were once their age, and any positive impact that we can have is huge. It’s something you need every day. It’s a tool you need every day. It keeps the brain working and the earlier you start, the easier it is.”

The Browns are proud to offer the return of their Touchdown for Reading program in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library and Cleveland Clinic. Through this unique program, which runs from Sept. 3 to Nov. 22, children from Kindergarten through eighth grade log reading minutes through their local library branch.

The program has four quarters and prizes are awarded after each interval. The school in the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s system with the highest participation in the program will win a grand-prize pizza party with the Browns’ mascot, Chomps.

“Reading is the foundation of kids learning and directly benefits them throughout their lifetime,” said Jenner Tekancic, director of community relations for the Browns. “By getting books in kids’ hands at a young age, it emphasizes the importance of education and that is essentially what we want the kids to know, their education starts with reading.

“Our season of outreach began with this visit to the Garfield Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library so the kids could come here and see how easy it is to reap the benefits of this beautiful, state-of-the-art facility as they pick out books with the players and just really enjoy everything that the library has to offer.”