ARLINGTON, Texas - In recognition of the 75th anniversary of H.A. Rey’s classic tale Curious George, UT Arlington basketball coaches Scott Cross and Krista Gerlich participated in a recent event at the UTA Bookstore that included a special session for local children.
The event, organized by the UTA Bookstore, featured the coaches reading Curious George to several young kids and their families. Afterward they visited with the families and helped the children with Curious George-themed coloring books.
“If kids learn to love to read, there is a high probability they are going to develop an interest in learning for the rest of their lives,” said Cross. “That’s what we all want for our children. Hopefully, Krista and I reading to the kids made it a fun experience they will remember when they pick up a book on their own at home or at school.”
Curious George is a series of popular children’s books by the same name that featured a curious brown monkey named George. The monkey was brought from his home in Africa by “The Man with The Yellow Hat” to live with him in a big city.
The original book, based on Rey’s first children’s book titled Raffy and the Nine Moneys, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941. The Curious George series, which included the seven original stories by Margret and Hans Rey, have sold more than 25 million copies.
“Curious George has always been a part of the Cross household, going back to ever since I can remember,” said Cross, in his 11th season at UTA. “I’ve read Curious George to my kids over the last few years and it is definitely one of their favorites.”
Generally, researchers state that reading is essential for a child’s success. According to an article published by PBS, barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never overcome them.
“I agree with Scott that creating a love of reading is one of the best ways to help ensure a child enjoys learning and establishes a foundation for the rest of their life,” said Gerlich, in her third season at UTA. “Reading helps stimulate our imagination and takes us to all kinds of places that we would like to be.”
The UT Arlington athletics program is committed to participating in a variety of community-based activities throughout the year. In addition to youth reading programs, UTA student-athletes, coaches and staff participate in a number of outreach activities that make a positive impact within the local community.
The UTA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee earned four Sun Belt Conference Community Service Initiative awards during the 2015-16 academic year and was honored as the top overall program in the league.
UTA student-athletes collected and donated clothing and shoes to charitable causes, conducted recycling efforts and made numerous visits to local learning centers to speak with area youth on the importance of education.
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