Learning and Achievement for All. Futuros Prosperos. Thriving Futures.

In an innovative collaboration, River Oaks Elementary School has teamed up with the boys' varsity basketball team from Potomac High School to ignite a passion for reading among its youngest students. The program, which commenced over five weeks, brings high school athletes into kindergarten and second grade classrooms to share stories and inspire their younger counterparts. 

Jonathan Stone, P.E. teacher at River Oaks Elementary, spearheaded the initiative. “I reached out to the administration team and the head coach at Potomac about a reading partnership. Having known the varsity coach for eight years, we had the foundation for this wonderful collaboration,” Stone shared. His vision was met with enthusiasm from both schools, marking the beginning of a meaningful exchange between students of varying ages. 

The partnership aims to enhance reading skills and present high school athletes as role models for elementary students. “It’s crucial for young students to have figures they can look up to. As a former athlete myself, I understand the impact of having a positive influence during these formative years,” Stone added. 

Every Wednesday, the Potomac High basketball players visit River Oaks, engaging with the children through group readings and interactive learning sessions. “The joy and excitement in the children’s eyes when the players walk in are simply priceless,” Stone observed. 

Feedback from the students and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. The kids adore the time spent with the players, and these interactions foster a love for reading and learning. “Powerful” is how many teachers described the experience. 

L.J., a basketball player from Potomac, expressed the mutual benefits of the program. “It’s awesome interacting with the kids. They not only make your day brighter, but they also look up to you, which encourages you to be your best self,” L.J. stated. 

Anthony Mills, Potomac’s head basketball coach, highlighted the broader impacts of the initiative. “This partnership is more than just about reading; it’s about leadership, community, and growth for both the elementary and high school students. It’s heartwarming to see two schools come together as one big family,” Mills reflected. 

As the program continues to flourish, there are plans to expand its reach by including the girls’ basketball team in the coming year. This reading partnership stands as a testament to the power of community and the profound influence of mentorship on young minds.