On Wednesday, February 11th the Vanderbilt University Commodores met their in-state rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers, for a highly anticipated match-up. The fight between the two has been part of a historical battle over the state of Tennessee. Even though the Volunteers narrowly edged out Vanderbilt in an overtime win, it was the Commodores who won the real battle that night: the battle against illiteracy.

CFL Assistant Coach Program “Assistant Coaches” for the night (from left to right): Ben Sensing, Benjamin Sensing, Denton Sensing

CFL Assistant Coach Program “Assistant Coaches” for the night (from left to right): Ben Sensing, Benjamin Sensing, Denton Sensing

The Commodores partnered with Coaching for Literacy to host the Assistant Coach Program. Head Coach Kevin Stallings is a member of Coaching for Literacy’s inaugural “Wall of Fame” and one of the first coaches who supported the national organization. For a third consecutive year, Coach Stallings agreed to host the Assistant Coach Program experience to benefit local literacy initiatives. The Assistant Coach Program is a national program coordinated by Coaching for Literacy that provides a once in a lifetime, gameday experience for two fans in exchange for a donation toward the partner literacy program. This year’s Assistant Coaches were the Sensing family of Nashville, Tennessee.

We greatly appreciate all Coaching for Literacy’s Vanderbilt Chapter has done and is doing to raise awareness around the issue of children’s literacy.
— Melissa Spradlin, Executive Director of Book'em

Coaching for Literacy’s Vanderbilt Chapter, comprised of six current Vanderbilt students, coordinated the Assistant Coach Program effort to raise awareness about the problem of illiteracy and generate financial support for Book’em, Coaching for Literacy’s local literacy program partner. Book’em seeks to empower Nashville’s economically disadvantaged children by fostering a love of books and reading through several programs. “Book’em is honored to be partnering with the Vanderbilt chapter of Coaching for Literacy,” said Melissa Spradlin, Executive Director of Book’em. “We greatly appreciate all Coaching for Literacy’s Vanderbilt Chapter has done and is doing to raise awareness around the issue of children’s literacy. Reading is the foundation of all learning, thus having strong literacy skills is essential for academic success and eventually success throughout life. The Vanderbilt students who are involved with Coaching for Literacy understand this and are giving back to the community through their efforts to support children’s literacy through fundraising and volunteer work.”

Book ‘Em Nashville representative Debbie Settles and the Coaching for Literacy Vanderbilt Chapter (from left to right): Simone Francis, Sam Reilly, Yasmine Griffiths, Andrew Renshaw, Garrott Graham, and Derrick Baber

Book ‘Em Nashville representative Debbie Settles and the Coaching for Literacy Vanderbilt Chapter (from left to right): Simone Francis, Sam Reilly, Yasmine Griffiths, Andrew Renshaw, Garrott Graham, and Derrick Baber

“Book’em serves several thousand economically disadvantaged youth in Davidson County by providing them with great books and reading role model volunteers,” said Spradlin. “Because of the support and involvement of Coaching for Literacy, more children will get to read fantastic stories and become book owners (some for the first time) and be exposed to volunteers who help open their eyes to how amazing reading is. Thousands more children in Nashville still need books and reading volunteers, so if people are interested in children’s literacy in Davidson County, they should get involved with Book’em and/or Coaching for Literacy.”

BOOK’EM INFORMATION

Website:  bookem-kids.org | Contact: Melissa Spradlin [ceo@book-emkids.org]

COACHING FOR LITERACY VANDERBILT CHAPTER

Contact: Sam Reilly [samuel.b.reilly@vanderbilt.edu]

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