Nov. 19, 2009
Madison, Wis. - Since the beginning of October and throughout the entire academic year, UW student-athletes participate in Bookin' It With Bucky, a reading program sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department in partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Badger student-athletes give motivation to young children and help them improve their reading skills by encouraging reading. The program gives those children the opportunity to meet student-athletes, who serve as their role models and become their friends.
"I think it is important for student-athletes to do this because these kids really do get excited for you to visit and really look up to us as role models," says Candice Peak, a member of the women's swimming team. "They want to accomplish the things that we have accomplished, so they really value the time that we get to spend with them, even it is only for a half hour," she added.
Since its beginnings in 2001, the program has become extremely popular among student-athletes, with an increasing number of participants each year. During the 2008-09 school year 26 fourth grade classrooms involving 700 students participated in the program. The eight-year total is over 300 classrooms involving more than 8,000 students.
"I decided to become involved because of the feedback that I got from teammates and other athletes who have done Bookin' It with Bucky," says Candice. "I knew I had some extra time once a week to do some volunteer work and I thought this would be a great way to spend my extra time."
Story and photo by Isabel Alvarez, UW golfer