The importance of children’s literacy is not lost on Baltimore Raven’s cornerback Brandon Carr, who has taken his love for reading to start a program focused on inspiring children’s love for reading, according to ESSENCE.
The football player has started a program that helps young people foster their love of reading through a service that comes right to their classrooms. The service, called Lit Buddies, is a literacy subscription box program. Lit Buddies is distributed through his Carr Cares Foundation, to classrooms in Baltimore and Dallas. Each individual box is designed to elevate the children’s reading skills and to encourage them to enjoy the exercise of reading. The boxes include two books each as well as items the entire family can enjoy like wristlets, water bottles, and tote bags.
“Early on, books were just an outlet for me,” Carr told ESSENCE. “Back in my early days I was a Bernstein Bears guy, I loved me some Clifford.”
“I was able to indulge and to kind of dive into the fantasy world, with fiction books and just different characters and, have an outlet from the daily rigors and stresses,” he continued.
Along with the books, Lit Buddies also provides children with notebooks and pencils inside the box.
Carr also visits schools regularly and tells the students that reading comprehension is an important asset in their lives in every career. His dedication is so sincere that he was nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2019.
“Before I go into schools, I just step back in time and just try to put myself in that moment, and just reflect back to my days as a child,” he said, adding that his goal is to “keep it simple for kids.”
“Everybody wants to be an athlete. I’m like, ‘OK. You want to be an athlete? Can you understand the information presented before you when you get this big contract or [if] you’re going for this big endorsement? When you got all these people coming at you for services and money?’ So I think that that makes [reading] important to you,” Carr explained. “If that’s your big dream, your big goal, then that’s why it’s important. So you won’t get taken advantage of and you can control your own destiny.”