mcloudy.png
Saturday July 20th, 2019 2:10PM

UGA/NFL player Mitchell brings Reading Rally to Chicopee Woods Elementary School

By B.J. Williams News Director
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
All 700 students at Chicopee Woods Elementary School in Hall County got an early Christmas present Friday - a copy of the book "The Magician's Hat" and a visit from the author, former University of Georgia football player Malcolm Mitchell.
 
Mitchell, a native of Valdosta who also played in the NFL for the New England Patriots, has spent the last few years of his young life taking his Reading Rally programs on the road, working to instill a love of learning in young children.
 
The 25-year-old Mitchell struggled with reading when he was a student, and he has been open about his fight to become a strong reader, a fight that led him to write and publish his own children's book while he was a student at UGA. While Mitchell was in college, he met a woman in a Barnes & Noble book store in Athens and asked her to recommend a book. That conversation ended with an invitation for Mitchell to join a women's book club in Athens. 
 
"From being in that group, I think my love for reading blossomed into something that I could not have predicted," Mitchell said during his visit to Chicopee Woods school. "[It led] to everything that we're doing today."
 
Mitchell's Reading Rally programs have taken him all over the country. His Share the Magic Foundation selects schools based on applications and Mitchell visits the schools, offering inspirational talks to the kids and a book for each child to take home.
 
At the Chicopee Woods Reading Rally, not only did the students get to see and hear Mitchell, they also were treated to a magic show by local magician Jeff McClure. Then, Mitchell and Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal read aloud "The Magician's Hat" while the students followed along. 
 
Fourth grade teacher Gaye Smith, an avoid Georgia football fan, was the teacher who filed the application for a Reading Rally for her school.
 
"Years ago, when Malcolm was at the University of Georgia, I heard him on the radio right before a Georgia game and they were talking to him about his book club, and that was even before he wrote his book," Smith said. "His story touched my heart as a teacher."
 
Initially, she sent an email asking if Mitchell could just visit and read to her class. Mitchell's publicist suggest she apply for one of the rallies and the rest is history. Smith said she could not have been happier with the way the students responded.
 
"I loved that they were all engrossed in their book and they were turning the pages with him and digging down deep and paying close attention and reading along with him," Smith said. "I love that they're all going to be able to take a book home."
 
Chicopee Woods Principal Jamie Hitzges said having a program like the Reading Rally at his school was a big deal for his students, mainly because the overwhelming majority of the student population struggles financially; owning their own book is icing on the cake for the kids.
 
"Having a hard-bound book that's going to last is great," Hitzges said.
 
Editor's note: Listen to more of Malcolm Mitchell's interview in the audio player included with this article.
 
 
Special Literacy Grants announced after Reading Rally 
 
Following the Reading Rally program on Friday, Malcolm Mitchell’s Share the Magic Foundation, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and The Get Georgia Reading Campaign announced special literacy grants for 22 Georgia schools.
 
Each school will receive the 2019 Georgia Early Learning Reading Initiative Grant and in-school celebrations will take place on Jan. 30, 2019 ahead of Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. 
 
Schools representing every Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) were selected to receive the 2019 Georgia Early Learning Reading Initiative Grant, benefiting more than 1,600 second grade students. As a recipient of the grant, each school’s second grade students will receive Mitchell’s book “The Magician’s Hat." Additionally, educators will receive a Teacher’s Guide that includes standards-based vocabulary and writing lessons and additional extension activities, an animated video of Malcolm Mitchell reading his book and a First Book Marketplace gift certificate to purchase additional books and resources for the school.
 
The 2019 Georgia Early Learning Initiative Grant recipients, with one additional school to be confirmed, include:
  • Anne Street Elementary School
  • Clay County Elementary School
  • Cooper-Carver Elementary School
  • Dooly County Elementary School
  • East Broad Street School
  • Elm Street Elementary School
  • Freeman Elementary School
  • Gaines Elementary School
  • Georgia E. Washington Elementary
  • Greensboro Elementary School
  • Jamestown Elementary School
  • Lewis Elementary School
  • Nicholls Elementary School
  • Northside Elementary School
  • Nunn Elementary School
  • Palmetto Elementary School
  • Taliaferro County School
  • Treutlen Elementary School
  • Turner Elementary School
  • Valley Point Elementary School
  • Veterans Elementary School
  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Sports, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Hall County School District , literacy, Share the Magic Foundation , Chicopee Woods Elementary School , Malcolm Mitchell , reading, The Magician's Hat
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Former GHS standout Thacker hired as new Georgia Tech DC
Former Gainesville High standout Andrew Thacker was named the new defensive coordinator by new new Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins Monday...
9:28PM ( 3 months ago )
Pacers beat Hawks for 5th consecutive victory
Myles Turner scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots in less than 24 minutes Monday, helping to lead the Indiana Pacers past Atlanta 116-108 before breaking his nose midway through the third quarter...
9:17PM ( 3 months ago )
PODCAST: Hard Left Turn with Brandon Reed and Pete McCole (12-31-18)
As we get ready to throw the checkered flag on the holiday season - and on 2018 - the Around The Track crew has worked to bring a little taste of Georgia Racing History...
8:00PM ( 3 months ago )
Sports
Firefighter who lost life battling church fire remembered after 20 years
Twenty years after a self-proclaimed Satanist set fire to New Salem United Methodist Church in Banks County, the community came together Monday to remember Loy Williams, the firefighter who gave his life battling the blaze.
11:55PM ( 3 months ago )
Gasoline spill in Gainesville now cleaned up
Cleanup is completed at Texaco Food Mart on Parkhill Drive after a gasoline leak over the weekend.
11:00PM ( 3 months ago )
US stocks end dismal, volatile year on a bright note
Wall Street closed out a dismal, turbulent year for stocks on a bright note Monday, but still finished 2018 with the worst showing in a decade.
9:52PM ( 3 months ago )
Local/State News
Hall County Schools' ad hoc vaping committee works to get plans in place before summer
With spring break in the rear-view mirror, a committee designed to put a dent in vaping on Hall County school campuses is working to get procedures and programs in place before summer.
12:06PM ( 6 days ago )
Ainsworth to take over principal's job at Chestnut Mountain Elementary School next year
The Hall County Board of Education has approved Dr. Betsy Ainsworth as the new principal for Chestnut Mountain Elementary School for the 2019-2020 school year.
By AccessWDUN Staff
9:57AM ( 3 weeks ago )
Hall County School District will need $200-$250M in construction in the next decade
Leaders for the Hall County School System have some important decisions facing them in the next five to 10 years when it comes to building projects for the district.
11:35AM ( 1 month ago )
Education the key to vaping battle, according to Hall County Schools committee
Members of a newly-formed Vaping Ad Hoc Committee held their first meeting Tuesday morning, working to formulate the first steps to a plan to put a dent in the vaping habits of Hall County students.
2:10PM ( 2 months ago )
East Hall 7th grader is Hall County Spelling Bee champ
After 17 rounds of competition, Colton Hewell emerged as the best speller in the county in the 2019 Hall County Spelling Bee.
2:33PM ( 2 months ago )