Dwyane Wade's Live to Dream initiative adds to existing Marquette reading program

The Hartman Literacy and Learning Center on Marquette University's campus is a place of hope for children who struggle to read.

Each school year, about 150 inner city students visit the center for free tutoring by the university's aspiring teachers.

\"We try to tailor it, customize it to the exact needs of the children. That's the difference,\" said Bill Henk, College of Education Dean. \"Most classroom teachers really aren't able to differentiate their instruction to this extent.\"

Marquette senior Jacob Daggett is a student tutor and worked one-on-one with second and third graders this semester. All four of them had a before first-grade reading level.

\"A lot of them made about a 15 count jump in words correct per minute score from September to December,\" Daggett said. \"So there are certainly bumps in the road, but that's why we're here.\"

Summer break can interrupt the students' progress at the Hartman, but not anymore.

\"These young kids are our future leaders. These are the people we're going to look to continue to run this world,\" said Dwyane Wade.

Starting next year, youth will come to the Hartman Center for the Dwyane Wade Live to Dream Summer Reading Program. The Miami Heat star says it's his goal to give them an opportunity to succeed, just like Marquette did for him.

\"It was always drilled in me from my college coaches to much is given much is required,\" he said. \"I've been given a lot and a lot is required from me for that.\"

Wade started the same program in his hometown of Chicago, where he and his sister, Tragil Wade, come from humble beginnings.

\"If you know me as a young person and Dwyane as a young person, we couldn't do a lot of things because we never had a way to get there,\" said Tragil.

But the Wade's World Foundation has that covered. About 60 students will have transportation to and from campus. It's a critical piece of the puzzle to help bridge the state's wide achievement gap.

\"Just to watch the smiles on their faces when they read as opposed to the anguish or pain that was on their face before when they couldn't, that's priceless,\" Henk said.

The community also understands the value of Live to Dream. More than 1,300 books were collected in one afternoon during a recent Marquette basketball game for the Hartman Center.

\"It's going to change students' lives,\" said Daggett. \"They're going to build confidence and that is the first step to having them want to move forward with their education.\"

\"If helping a young person makes the city great, because we believe it does,\" said Tragil, \"then we're just glad to be a part of the team.\"

Dwyane's gift supports the Live to Dream program for three years. Marquette will raise money to fund three more and Dwyane is challenging the community to help. To donate, click here.

Share this article: