Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Reading with Ronde

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Ronde Barber put on his reading hat on Friday

Ronde Barber visited Alexander Elementary School to promote reading as part of the "Read Across America" program.

Ronde Barber, as Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans know, is quite astute at reading offenses. This week, a group of young fans discovered that Barber is big on reading, period.

On Friday afternoon, Barber visited Alexander Elementary School to share By My Brother's Side, a children's book published produced by Ronde and his twin brother Tiki, to hundreds of eager young readers. The visit was part of the National Education Association's "Read Across America" project, a program that is designed to get students excited about reading.

Jean Clements, the President of the NEA affiliated Hillsborough Teachers Association, was glad to see Barber take time to promote the importance of reading.

"Kids need to know that reading is fun," said Clements. "They know that football is fun, so when they see someone who plays football having fun reading, it translates to reading is fun. Ronde knows that reading is important – he's just trying to make it fun for the kids."

Barber was joined by the Cat in the Hat while he visited students in the school's Media Center, Music Room and classrooms. After reading his book, he spoke to the children about the important role reading should play in everyone's life.

"It's wonderful that Ronde came out here today," said Assistant Principal Kristina Alvarez. "Ronde being here really motivates our students – it encourages them to read and do their best."

Barber is no stranger to promoting the value of reading. Ronde and Tiki are the co-captains of "Read Across America," which has attracted over 45 million readers. In Ronde's eyes, reading is something that children should set as a goal for themselves.

"I have a place in my heart for kids – I have a children's book and I have kids," said Barber. "Today gave me a good opportunity for me to promote literacy and making reading part of these kids' goals."

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