Duke Energy, UNC Athletics Team Up To Read Like A Champion


January 20, 2016

By: UNC Athletic Communications

RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 20, 2016) – Duke Energy actively supports early childhood literacy – making it a philanthropic priority. UNC student-athletes are giving a boost to those efforts.

Duke Energy’s North Carolina President David Fountain joined Tar Heel men’s basketball student-athlete Marcus Paige on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Rashkis Elementary School in Chapel Hill to support the January Tar Heel Reading Days event. The pair read to 95 third-grade students before the UNC mascot, Rameses, helped hand out posters and books to the students.

“It was an honor to be a part of the Duke Energy Reading Days’ event,” said Rashkis Elementary Principal Janice Croasmun. “It was great for the students to see someone they admire (Marcus Paige), model and reinforce the importance of education and reading and how it made them successful and helped them reach their goals.”

During the 2015-16 athletic season, Duke Energy is sponsoring Tar Heel Reading Days – an initiative in collaboration with UNC Student-Athlete Development that occurs one day per month at local elementary schools throughout the Triangle area. Tar Heel student-athletes from multiple sports visit a local elementary school and read to a class. 

“Our children are the future leaders of our communities, and it’s important that they are equipped at a young age with the reading skills needed to thrive in the classroom and throughout life,” said Fountain. “We’re proud to team up with UNC and its outstanding student-athletes to foster a passion for learning at local elementary schools by making reading fun and exciting for students.”

At each of the school visits, Duke Energy provides age-appropriate Scholastic Books for each child to take home, as well as a co-branded poster featuring Tar Heel student-athletes reading, encouraging kids to “Read like a Champion.”

“Giving back to the community is an important part of our Student-Athlete Development program, and the Tar Heel Reading Days allow our student-athletes an opportunity to interact one-on-one with young fans and other community members,” said Korie Sawyer, Assistant Director, Student-Athlete Services. “We are thankful for Duke Energy’s support of this program and hope to see this continue for years to come.”

UNC student-athletes have participated in four Tar Heel Reading Days so far this season, including Wednesday’s event at Rashkis Elementary. Men’s Soccer and women’s volleyball student-athletes kicked off the reading season visiting Glenwood Elementary in October, while members of the baseball team visited Northside Elementary in November. Members of the Tar Heel football program read to students at Carrboro Elementary at the December Tar Heel Reading Day event.                        

This is the first year Duke Energy has partnered with UNC Student-Athlete Development to develop the Tar Heel Reading Days program. The partnership with Duke Energy is managed by Learfield Sports’ Tar Heel Sports Properties, the exclusive multimedia rights holder for UNC athletics. 

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 23 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

About Learfield Sports

UNC is one of more than 120 collegiate properties represented by Learfield Sports, which titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. Learfield’s multimedia rights encompass numerous content distribution platforms to deliver the passion of college athletics across radio, television and digital networks to fans globally. Learfield’s college partners also have access to licensing and trademark consulting, concessions and hospitality services, digital platform expertise, venue signage and technology systems and professional ticket sales through its owned and operated companies. For more, visit learfieldsports.com.

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