“Read Like a Champion” Kickoff scores big!

Posted on September 8, 2017

Fall is not only the start of the school year, but also the start of football season!

Taking a cue from the University of Notre Dame’s iconic motivational locker room sign, Principal Kevin McMillen “kicked off” his inaugural “Read Like a Champion” program today (Friday, September 8).

As part of the yearlong reading initative, Principal McMillen is encouraging not just Madison students to read, but for their families to read together! Parents were invited to come to the school for today’s launch and read a portion of a book to a class. But this was more than just “story time.” By having parents also explain how reading and comprehension helps them in the everyday lives and on their jobs, Principal McMillen’s hopes to inspire a passion and purpose for reading in his elementary school students. To help get everyone excited about the program, parents came to school today to read to their children and classmates. Parents from all types of careers were represented: a police officer, judge, farmer, dental hygienist and even a former NFL player! Click to see the full photo gallery below. 

2003 Penn alum Bryan Mattison played as defensive end at Iowa before going pro with the Baltimore Ravens, St. Louis Rams, and the Kansas City Chiefs, and now is volunteer assistant football coach for the Kingsmen. Today he scored a big “touchdown” when he read “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” to his daughter’s kindergarten class. See the picture above.

Madison mother with sons
Capt. O’Donnell made a surprise video call to his sons as part of “Read Like a Champion”

Today’s parent reading day even scored an “extra point” when a Dad serving in the Army National Guard made a surprise video call into the school wide assembly to say Hi! to his three sons and the rest of the school’s some 120+ students! Captain Timothy O’Donnell has been deployed to Afghanistan since February and is scheduled to return home in October or November. With help of Principal McMillen and his wife, Capt. O’Donnell had wanted to surprise his third and two fourth grade sons by reading to them and participate in all the fun. Unfortunately, the video connection was not very good, but the boys did have the opportunity to see and talk to their Dad all the way from Afghanistan!

“Read Like a Champion” will continue throughout the school year with activities such as buddy reading times, challenges, more guest readers and reading surprises culminating with a school assembly in June.

Last Modified May 16, 2019