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Altoona football players making reading fun

(WEAU)
Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 4:42 PM CST
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This month we celebrate National Reading Month and one local school is putting a unique twist on getting kids to read more.

The Altoona High School football team is hoping to make reading fun for kids.

"At that point we're promoting reading and making reading a cool thing for kids to do because to get good at reading you have to practice,” said Altoona Head Football Coach, Chad Hanson.

Throughout the month of March, third graders at Altoona Elementary School will be participating in a friendly competition.

"The third graders have a little competition going on throughout the month of March where their goal is to read 400 minutes at home,” Hanson said.

And if they read 400 minutes in March…

"Each kid who reads 400 minutes will then get their name put in a hat, and then we draw one name and that name will get to throw a pie at the football player that their class adopted,” Hanson said.

But it is not just the players that get to enjoy a pie to the face.

"Everyone else who met the 400 minute requirement who did not get their name pulled, will get their name put into a bigger pot and that student will throw a pie In my face,” Hanson said.

This event and many more are all part of the new culture that Coach Hanson is trying to create in Altoona.

"This event and competition that we're participating in with the third graders tackles the greatness as a student and also as a community member so this is a significant part of what our football program is and it will be a significant part of what we do going forward,” he said.

And Coach Hanson’s players are excited to bring the game beyond the field.

"It is kind of nice to be part of the community and contribute back it is also nice because I haven't done stuff like this before,” said offensive lineman Braxton Lang.

"It's pretty exciting because I get to see all the little kids and remember what it was like to be in their shoes but we never had this when I was younger,” said offensive lineman Craig Ervin.

While this is a fun event for the players and kids, Coach Hanson says it is all part of the new culture he is creating within the football program.

"The kids are starting to realize being a member of the football team goes beyond just Friday night lights in the fall, it is something that we do year round with doing different community events,” he said.

Coach Hanson's players will go back and read to their classes on March 16, and then on April 3, the pieing will happen with the players and Hanson.