Heyward stresses importance of reading

We all remember the books. From Dr. Seuss' 'The Cat in the Hat' and 'Oh the Places You'll Go,' to other classics that children have been reading for years. They have been staples in the development of kids for decades, books that have been passed from generation to generation.

On Tuesday morning, Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward shared one of his favorite books with the students at St. Sebastian School, surprising them with a visit to read 'The Giving Tree' as a part of Read Across America.

Steelers DE Cam Heyward reads to kids at St. Sebastian School to celebrate Reading Across America.

"I haven't had the chance to read to this big of a crowd for a while, but I enjoyed it," said Heyward, who said he has read 'The Giving Tree' ever since he was a kid. "It's a pleasure just to reinforce reading, just a pleasure to be back in a school like this."

Read Across America is a reading initiative that was created by the National Education Association and is celebrated in schools and libraries across the country. The program kicked off on Monday, March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss but continues throughout the month. To celebrate his birthday, one of the students read the Dr. Seuss classic, 'Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?' to the group.

"In our society today, reading is one of the bases for everything," said Heyward. "If we can reinforce it in ways like this, in as many ways as possible, for everyone to understand that reading is always going to be the key to be successful in life."

The students had the opportunity to ask Heyward questions, and were even surprised to learn that reading is a key part of playing football.

"It's surprising to hear that he likes reading," said eighth grader Joe Ryan. "You don't think of NFL players liking reading. You think they like playing football because that is their job. When you hear they like reading, it's like I like reading too. There's something we have in common. That's pretty cool."

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