Reading Role Models

March 22, 2018

Reading Role Models

Did a beloved teacher ever read aloud to your class when you were a kid? Did a friend or relative ever hand you a book that became a lifelong favorite? That's what we're talking about today—the magic of reading role models, individuals who play a crucial role in helping kids succeed.

First, we talk with Malcolm Mitchell, the author of the picture book The Magician's Hat, the founder of Read With Malcolm, AND a Super Bowl winning football player with the New England Patriots. Malcolm talks about his personal struggle with reading as a kid, and how that's motivated him to show kids how important—and wonderful—books can be.

We then move from football to basketball, as we sit down with with Marc Davis, an NBA Referee who participates in a program called TIMEOUT for Reading, a collaboration between Scholastic and the NBA Referee Association in which referees read aloud and disribute books to sixth grade classrooms.

Finally, Greg Worrell, the president of Scholastic Education, joins us to talk about his experience with Houston Real Men Read and how he met his mentee.

Additional resources:


  • Malcolm Mitchell helped the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl in his rookie season and was named to the 2017 NFL All-Rookie Team. Mitchell was drafted by the Patriots after a standout career at the University of Georgia. Mitchell is also an author and crusader for children’s literacy. Mitchell self-published a children’s book, The Magician’s Hat, about a boy who knows the magical power of books, which earned him Georgia Children's Author of the Year in 2016. Malcolm founded a youth literacy initiative called Read with Malcolm. Mitchell currently serves as the New England Patriots “Summer Reading Ambassador”, to encourage students to read as much as possible during the critical summer months.
  • Marc Davis has been an NBA official for the past 20 seasons, working 1,156 regular season games, 105 playoff games, and nine finals games in his NBA career. Davis also worked the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. Davis is active in the Chicago community where he grew up and is an avid outdoorsman.
  • Greg Worrell oversees Scholastic Education, which partners with schools and districts to empower educators and to raise achievement for all students by providing a complete literacy program, print and digital instructional materials, and professional services for educators and family engagement. Greg is the recipient of the 2011 Upton Sinclair Award, which recognizes educational leaders who have gone above and beyond the call of duty ensuring that children around the globe succeed.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

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