The Los Angeles Rams kicked off their October Reading Challenge as part of the Rams Readers literacy program by visiting 1,100 students in the Lawndale Elementary School District. Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage kicked off the challenge at Lucille J. Smith Elementary, reading the team's children's book Ride with Rampage to first through third grade students.
The Rams Reading Challenge is a newly launched component to the Ram Readers program, which encourages students to explore the excitement that reading can provide while helping improve literacy rates among students throughout Los Angeles.
The reading program along with the challenge heightens the excitement and engagement around reading. "The Rams offering this opportunity to the school builds an authentic love of learning and that reading doesn't just have to be about school," said Smith Elementary principal Cristal Moore.
During each Rams Readers assembly, Rampage challenged students to read for at least 20-minutes a day each day for the following 30 days. In addition to receiving their own copy of the book and a Rams bookmark, participating classes were provided with posters to track their progress. At the end of the challenge, the Rams will reward the highest achieving school with a PLAY 60 Field Day.
Moore said the visit was "an amazing opportunity for our students to engage with the Rams organization. It's also a way to reinforce the value of literacy in a fun and exciting way." She also saw the event improving student and parent engagement as it connects school to home.
David Weingarten, Rams community affairs and engagement manager said, "The Rams Reading Challenge is the first step in our exciting journey to connect with more students and inspire a love for reading."
Reflecting on the program, Moore said, "I love the fact that [the Rams and students] read together, [they] model shared reading [and] what that looks like. The Rams being here, the spirit and enthusiasm, it's really going to motivate them and challenge them to push themselves to do a little bit more."
Weingarten's goal is to expand the challenge. "Reading extends beyond textbooks and classrooms. It's a gateway to learning, imagination, and academic success. We hope the program encourages students to embrace reading and develop the skills and confidence necessary to excel in school."
Moore is eager to see how her students excel in the reading challenge and she added that "a little competition never hurts."
Ride with Rampage is a key component of the Rams Readers program. The Rams kicked off the Rams Readers literacy program and released Ride with Rampage on March 2, 2022, in celebration of last year's Read Across America Day. Since launching the program, the Rams have visited more than 48 schools and distributed over 9,300 copies of Ride with Rampage to first through third grade students in schools across Southern California. Copies of Ride with Rampage can be purchased at www.ramsfanshop.com, Amazon, and in select Barnes & Noble locations across Los Angeles. All proceeds from retail purchases will benefit the Los Angeles Rams Foundation.
For more information about the Rams' community outreach efforts, visit www.therams.com/community.