By Stephen Stamp | NLL.com Staff Writer
There’s nothing like reading to a class full of kids to bring out the kid in lacrosse players. It’s hard to say who had more fun when four Rochester Knighthawks ventured out to local schools to take part in Read Across America recently.
This year was the 20th anniversary of the program that takes place on the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Folks across the country read books by Dr. Seuss and others to kids, encouraging them to read more.
“Absolutely enjoyed myself today. Anything with the kids I always enjoy,” Joel Matthews said of reading to kids in kindergarten through third grade. “Just to see the genuine happiness on their faces. As adults, we don’t’ really get that excited about small things like that any more, so it’s nice to see that. I think the kids enjoyed my books today. I even got to read a little book about lacrosse, so that was awesome. Lots of laughs.”
One of the books Matthews read to the kids was The Great Ball Game, a story about the first lacrosse game. Brad Gillies read Fox in Socks and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, much to the merriment of the students.
“I got a big tongue-twister book and I had a lot of pressure on me to handle these riddles. I think it went pretty well,” Gillies said.
Dan Lomas says some of the kids had a slightly different view of Gillies’ reading skills. “It was awesome, just to see how excited those kids were to have us come in there and read those Dr. Seuss books and to hear their reviews of Brad’s reading was pretty fun, too. They were giving him a bit of a hard time,” Lomas said with a laugh, “but he had a tough book to read and I think he did a great job.”
Luke Laskiewicz said it was nice to see the students appreciate having him and his teammates come in and read. “All the kids just loved being there,” he says. “It seemed like they were cheering us on there with the Knighthawks cheer at the end of reading two books with Joel and I.”
At this point in their careers, lacrosse comes pretty easily to the quartet. Was reading to an eager group of students a little tougher than lacrosse practice, Knighthawks’ director of communications asked Laskiewicz. “I think it might be,” was the response. “There’s a couple of tough books but luckily I picked One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish so it wasn’t too difficult.”