Seven student athletes headed out to Holmes Elementary school on Friday, January 23 in Oak Park to read to first grade students during their annual Rocket Into Reading program. Every year during the month of December, all of the classes compete by determining which class reads the most books. During this program, classes are read to by people such as a local newspaper publisher, the police chief, the fire chief, and the mayor. Dominican’s student athletes went into this project ready to read with open minds, welcoming hearts, and their favorite childhood books.
On a mission to inspire these children through reading, McKenzie Goyert, Kelli Iovino, Kaitlin Barajas, Sarah Conway, Eli Claudio, Brooks Neverly, and Zachery Sinn read to an ample amount of first graders. After reading books, the children proceeded to ask questions to our student athletes about their collegiate life. The Dominican staff members that attended are Jessica Mackinnon, Carlos Carrillo, and Ken Trendel.
Jessica Mackinnon started working with this program five years ago by sending student athletes to Holmes Elementary School annually. Expanding this experience to a wide range each elementary schools is foreseen by the Dominican faculty. With hopes to continue broadening the program, Carlos Carrillo finds it beneficial, “it is a good way of giving back and inspiring kids.” Inspiring the children of Holmes Elementary School is the first step the Dominican University Athletic Program is taking to the beginning of extending a positive influence through books.