Prairie Grove Base­ball Pro­motes Read­ing


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS WEEK - By Mark Humphrey

PRAIRIE GROVE — Prairie Grove base­ball coach Chris Mile­ham was pumped up Fri­day about read­ing some­thing other than op­pos­ing pitch­ers.

Mile­ham was about to see his team in ac­tion in a dif­fer­ent set­ting — the class­room.

“Su­per-ex­cited to kick off phase one of our two-part R.E.A.D. pro­gram to­day,” Mile­ham stated in a Prairie Grove Base­ball Face­book post, adding, “Thank you to the ele­men­tary school and those that all helped make this vi­sion a re­al­ity! Proud to be a Tiger!”

Tra­cie A. Ash­ley, who teaches eighth-grade his­tory/lit­er­acy, in the Prairie Grove School Dis­trict, de­scribed the Prairie Grove High School Base­ball com­mu­nity ser­vice project.

“Coach Mile­ham asked me to col­lab­o­rate with him on a project for his high school base­ball team this year,” Ash­ley said. “We have col­lected old news­pa­per bins from the North­west Arkansas Times and will be putting them around town for our 2018 R.E.A.D. Ini­tia­tive.”

Ash­ley ex­plained the pro­gram has two as­pects. Part 1 is com­mu­ni­ty­wide.

“We will use these news­pa­per bins as lit­tle free li­braries all over town for pa­trons to leave a book and take a book that they would like to have,” Ash­ley stated in an email. “It is our hope with this part of the ini­tia­tive that we en­cour­age read­ing at home — thus help­ing to pro­mote read­ing and good lit­er­acy prac­tices that will trickle back into our school sys­tems.”

Part 2 takes place in the class­room.

“The PGHS Base­ball team will go on Fri­days to the ele­men­tary school and read to stu­dents to help pro­mote lit­er­acy in our schools,” Ash­ley said. “As stu­dents hear how to ar­tic­u­late and pro­nounce words, it will greatly im­pact their lit­er­acy scores. Plus, hav­ing PGHS ath­letes come down and spend time with the stu­dents will be some­thing that hope­fully, they will look for­ward to and cher­ish.”

Mile­ham is pi­o­neer­ing the project and men­tor­ing pro­gram.

“A huge thank you to the sec­ond­grade teach­ers for your will­ing­ness to give up part of your day, so that both par­ties had this op­por­tu­nity to grow,” Mile­ham stated in a Prairie Grove Base­ball Face­book post Fri­day.


Prairie Grove base­ball play­ers read to ele­men­tary school stu­dents Fri­day as part of a team com­mu­nity ser­vice project to pro­mote read­ing.


The R.E.A.D. Ini­tia­tive is a com­mu­nity ser­vice project by the Prairie Grove High School base­ball team. Old news­pa­per bins do­nated by North­west Arkansas News­pa­pers, LLC, have been placed around town as free lit­tle li­braries where books can be taken and left to en­cour­age read­ing at home. The team also reads to stu­dents at the Ele­men­tary School on Fri­days.

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