Super Bowl champ to discuss importance of early childhood literacy
Registration is open for The Rapides Foundation’s ninth annual Symposium, which will focus on early childhood literacy and feature Super Bowl Champion Malcolm Mitchell sharing his personal story about the transformational power of reading.
The event will be at 3:30 p.m. September 1 at the Randolph Riverfront Center in Alexandria. Guests can attend in person or online through Zoom webinar. The Symposium is free of charge, but registration is required.
The Foundation presents the Symposium each year as a way to gather around a topic of importance and to recognize the creation of The Rapides Foundation on September 1, 1994. The focus of the 2022 Symposium is early childhood literacy, which is part of the Foundation’s school readiness work to prepare young children to be ready to learn when they enter school.
Mitchell, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots when it won the 2017 Super Bowl, established Share the Magic Foundation to transform children’s lives through literacy. Children who struggle to read are subjected to harsh consequences including poverty, incarceration and failure to complete high school. Mitchell grew up with similar challenges but during his freshman year at the University of Georgia, a newly developed love of reading changed his trajectory.
In his presentation, Read to a Better Future, Mitchell focuses on the transformational power of reading through his personal story and literacy-based research. Central to his message is self-empowerment, cultural relevancy and reading as a superpower.
The Rapides Foundation focuses its works in three strategic areas: Healthy People, to improve access to healthcare and to promote healthy behaviors; Education, to increase the level of educational attainment and achievement as the primary path to improved economic, social and health status; and Healthy Communities, to improve economic opportunity and family income; and enhance civic and community opportunities for more effective leaders and organizations.
Since the Foundation’s creation in 1994, it has awarded more than $237 million in grants. The Rapides Foundation serves a nine-parish area in Central Louisiana consisting of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn parishes.