SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame students are not letting the pandemic stop them from being involved in the community.
Some of the university’s athletes are thinking outside the box to continue promoting reading to local children without being inside the classroom. They’ve created a virtual library.
It’s called “Fighting to Read. Fighting to Feed.” And it started back in March when schools shut down.
Women’s soccer player Camryn Dyke and Notre Dame Student Athlete Welfare and Development Program coordinator Collin Stoecker spearheaded the project.
Student-athletes recorded themselves reading children’s books to local students, and then they posted the videos to YouTube and Instagram along with a virtual donation sticker for Feeding America. Then they tagged other student-athletes and challenged them to do the same.
Right now athletes are reading books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It’s a program where each month children are mailed a selected book. 50 percent of South Bend School students opted in to this program. This means students will be able to read along with their favorite athletes.
“We might not be able to be there in person, but here’s the next best thing of a student athlete reading a book,” said Stoecker. “A lot of these books in this library have focused on their writing and diversity, so very high quality books.”
The Virtual library is available for anyone. You don’t have to live in the area to access it.
Right now there are 88 books in the library, but the goal is to have up to 200 books by the end of this school year.