READ campaign recruits student athletes

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    Sarah Scherer has received numerous titles for her performance as a member of the TCU rifle team and recently qualified to represent the United States rifle team at the 2012 Olympics.

    Off the range, Scherer said she has always been eager and self-motivated about reading.

    Scherer was able to display her passion for reading through her involvement with the READ campaign organized by the Mary Couts Burnett Library administration and the Athletics Department to encourage reading among students.

    The campaign made students think about performing their best in both academics and sports, Scherer said.

    Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations, said the Athletics Department chose athletes to represent the campaign who had shown they were “not only strong on the playing field, but strong in the classroom.”

    Athletes chose a book to pose with from a group of preselected books, Shelda Dean, assistant to the dean of the library, said. Some even picked books in their field of study, Dean said.

    Although Scherer said her book choice was based on the cover art, she said her favorite book was a children’s story titled “A Hole is to Dig” by Ruth Krauss. She said the Bible was the book she read most frequently.

    The athletes were good representatives of the small student body, Cohen said. Players such as Bart Johnson, an ESPN Academic All-American, and Jackie Torda, who currently works for Athletics Marketing, were chosen for the campaign because of their academic and athletic accomplishments.

    Twelve students have been featured in READ posters in the library lobby since the campaign started in the fall, Dean said.

    Brance Rivera, an outfielder for the university’s baseball team, was featured on the most recent READ poster. He said he also enjoyed reading.

    Rivera said he decided to participate in the campaign to encourage students to find a good book for themselves.

    “My friends say, ‘Hey, every time I go to the library I see you, but you’re always reading a book,’” Rivera said.

    Dean said the library administration also hoped to increase the library’s visibility on campus through the campaign. In order to do so, they have handed out bookmarks for the campaign at campus events and has distributed them to different academic departments.

    The library administration plans to incorporate the campaign in future library initiatives, she said, and to update athletes’ posters as players graduate.

    The library administration planned to add two more READ posters this semester, Dean said.