Riddle & Brantley Announces Partnership with Area Nonprofit

Lessons For Life Through Sports is a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit that is working to combat the mental health crisis that is plaguing our youth. Their goal is to promote reading through their books that use sports to teach valuable life lessons. The books use the lens of college athletics, featuring officially licensed schools like UNC and NC State, to achieve this goal.

Riddle & Brantley is pleased to announce that we have recently partnered with Lessons For Life Through Sports to support the youth in North Carolina. We have donated $14,000 to be used to give these books to children in the community free of charge. By getting these books in as many kids’ hands as possible, we can encourage quality dialogue about inclusion, diversity, teamwork, and positivity.

The ties between the Riddle family and the University of North Carolina School of Law, where Lessons for Life Through Sports founder Aaron Gard serves as executive director of the Institute for Innovation, run deep. Gard originally got connected to Riddle & Brantley through attorney Dean Riddle, who earned his law degree from UNC. Dean’s brother, attorney Gene Riddle, who serves as managing partner at Riddle & Brantley, attended UNC for his undergraduate studies.


Psychologists have shown that when kids use their imagination it improves their symbolic thinking, language development, and reasoning skills. When kids read with their parents, they practice using their imagination. Given this, at Riddle & Brantley, we believe it is important that kids read more, and we recognize that it is easier to get kids to read when they are reading something they enjoy. When they read something they enjoy, they practice more and feel more confident reading. That is why Lessons For Life Through Sports uses college athletics as the basis for their books, as it is something that kids of all ages and genders can enjoy.

Excessive screen time, on the other hand, has a negative impact on a child’s brain development. It decreases concentration, reduces socialization, and compromises the child’s innate ability to build a large vocabulary. Social media has also been shown to have increasingly negative effects on children’s mental health. There is support among experts that social media use is associated with anxiety and depression, as well as some physical illness.

“We are a healthcare company, simple as that,” says Lessons for Life Through Sports founder Aaron Gard. “The constant flow of information through screens and social media is overwhelming. Adults aren’t able to process information as rapidly as we receive it, so children can’t be expected to handle it. Likes, dislikes, and followers. . . .  it’s all messing with our mental health, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. These are the unintended consequences of rapid advances in technology.”

“The constant flow of information through screens and social media is overwhelming … children can’t be expected to handle it … It’s all messing with our mental health.”

Aaron Gard, founder, Lessons for Life Through Sports

The Importance of Reading for Children

Parent-child reading has the additional benefit of reducing hyperactivity, aggression, and attention issues that many children experience. If we can get kids to turn off their screens and read a book, even for just 15 minutes a day, we can help them find a sense of community and belonging, all while teaching them positive lessons in a fun way. By providing these books at no cost to the children or their families, we can help combat the negative mental effects that technology and social media have on children.


Riddle & Brantley is proud to support Lessons For Life Through Sports and their mission of promoting reading and positive development among children. We challenge other firms and companies in North Carolina to follow our lead and contribute to this important cause. We believe this is a cause we can all support, as our children are our future. We need to support them as best that we can. Please join us in this effort!

GET INVOLVED: To support Lessons for Life Through Sports, visit lessonsfor.org or contact Aaron Gard at [email protected]

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