Grayslake gridiron players read to kids for 'Football Fridays'

 
 
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Grayslake Central football players Angelo Gargano, left, and Mike Gentile demonstrate good reading techniques.

    Grayslake Central football players Angelo Gargano, left, and Mike Gentile demonstrate good reading techniques. Photo courtesy Grayslake High School District 127

  • Grayslake Central High School football player Darius Dacanay reads to elementary school students.

    Grayslake Central High School football player Darius Dacanay reads to elementary school students. Photo courtesy Grayslake High School District 127

  • Alex Nicodemus takes time to show the pictures to an audience of captivated elementary school students.

    Alex Nicodemus takes time to show the pictures to an audience of captivated elementary school students. Photo courtesy Grayslake High School District 127

  • Elementary school students asked Grayslake North football player Ross Sauer for an autograph after he finished reading to the class.

    Elementary school students asked Grayslake North football player Ross Sauer for an autograph after he finished reading to the class. Photo courtesy Grayslake High School District 127

  • Grayslake North football player Ross Sauer is excited to be part of the

    Grayslake North football player Ross Sauer is excited to be part of the "Football Fridays" program. Photo courtesy Grayslake High School District 127

Published: 9/28/2009 12:16 AM

Fridays are big for Grayslake North and Central high school football players.

Sure, there's the weekly game. But for some team members, the action starts earlier in the day thanks to a program that guarantees a win for everyone involved.

On "Football Fridays," the athletes visit area elementary schools to read books to students. The high-schoolers get to practice their mentoring skills and fulfill their responsibilities as role models. And the importance of reading is reinforced for the younger children.

The program was organized by Student Assistance Program (SAP) coordinators Diane Busch and Roslyn Lessem with the help of the head football coaches.

Coach Nick Goshe is thrilled to implement the program at Grayslake Central.

"As Grayslake Central High School football players, we have a responsibility to give back to the youth in our community as much as possible," he said. "Reading is the number one gift anyone can provide another person and we are honored to encourage today's youth in this critical aspect of life."

Grayslake North senior Ross Sauer of Lake Villa is excited to be a part of the program, which he sees as an opportunity to give back to the community that continues to show its support for his team. "Although we haven't won many games, we can show our success in a different way, by giving back to the community," he said.

Central senior Fola Arowora of Round Lake is taking his coach's message to heart.

"We can't be successful without school and so we are students first and athletes second. We want to show these younger kids how you are supposed to act and not just focus on the sports."