James Clemens student-athletes motivate elementary students to enjoy reading during World Read Aloud Day

MADISON, Ala. - Dozens of James Clemens High School student-athletes celebrated World Read Aloud Day with Madison City Schools elementary students on Thursday. This gave the athletes a chance to engage with kindergarteners through second graders, and show them the importance of reading together.

"Reading's very important, you need it throughout life and in your career," James Clemens High School Basketball Team Manager Ty Grandberry said. "You need it in high school."

During Thursday's World Read Aloud Day in Madison City Schools, Grandberry inspired elementary students to take after her.

"I hope they learn that they can grow up to be whatever they want," Grandberry said.

Kindergarten Teacher Kimberly Waldrop used the reading activity to teach a life lesson.

"She works hard in her classes too," Waldrop said as she stood in front of a kindergarten class with Grandberry. "So, to be able to work with the basketball team, she has to read and she has to write."

Across the school at Mill Creek Elementary, the students greeted an athlete with a familiar cheer as they gathered around James Clemens High School football star and University of Alabama signee LaBryan Ray for story time.

"It's something I'm grateful for because it seems like yesterday I was sitting in their seats," Ray said.

The student-athletes also stopped by Madison, Columbia and Heritage Elementary Schools on Thursday to read to kindergartners through second graders.