Local students surprised by NFL players, encouraged to keep head in books

T.C. Miller Elementary participate in Redskins Read program for first time

LYNCHBURG, Va. – On Friday, fourth-and fifth-graders at T.C. Miller Elementary School got a chance to video chat with Redskins offensive guard Tony Bergstorm.

It's the school's first time participating in the Redskins Read program.

Amre Brown and Ethan Farrow are some of the avid readers in the bunch.

"In non-fiction books it helps me learn about things about other real people," fourth grader Ethan said.

"I like reading because honestly it takes me to another place and it just brings me joy," fifth grader Amre said.

Since September… students have been completing reading and writing assignments in their Redskins Read playbook.

"It's a great another motivator for our students. We're competing against video games, and movies and TV. This is a great way to get our kids interested in reading again," Kristin Smith, lead instructional coach, said. 

So far, students who have met monthly reading goals have gone home with Redskins labeled ear buds and lanyards.

Smith says teachers have seen students love for reading grow. 

"Some classrooms have 50 more percent participation than they did at the beginning," Smith said.

Bergstrom motivated the children to keep reading every day.

Students say it's advice they'll take on and hope the Redskins' players take T.C. Miller's advice too.

"Practice hard and play your best," Ethan said.