Students eager on first day of Dwyane Wade's summer reading program

It's been said that reading is fundamental and can take you to sights unseen.

\"You choose to live, we'll help you dream,\" said Tragil Wade, Dwyane Wade's sister.

This summer, about 60 second and third graders are taking that pledge by participating in the Live to Dream reading program. The goal is to avoid falling in the summer slump and getting those behind on their reading skills back on track.

\"We are dealing with an under-served community and the group here is the group we want to touch,\" said Tragil.

Tragil is more than just Dwyane Wade's sister. She's also the executive director of his Wade's World Foundation.

Monday, she stopped by the Hartman Literacy Center on Marquette's campus to encourage and motivate the young minds. Her family's passion is derived from a nephew, who read at a kindergarten level in the fourth grade.

\"He'd come home with the wrong books.\" she said. \"I'd say, 'that said social studies, why do you have a spelling book today?' He didn't even know how to read these things.\"

Each Wade Reader is lead by a Wade Coach or aspiring teachers at the university. In small group settings, students get tutoring tailored just for them.

\"I think it's looking at each child as an individual, trying to assess not just where their weaknesses may be, but where their strengths are and trying to teach through those strengths,\" said College of Education Dean William Henk.

At the end of the six week program, it's the hope students will walk away feeling empowered and knowing someone cares about their future..

\"They'll definitely be better at recognizing words,\" Henk said. \"And, I think their vocabulary will be expanded.\"

\"I want them to feel connected to Dwyane Wade and a family,\" said Tragil. \"I do believe Dwyane is a great role model.\"

Dwyane Wade's $195,000 gift through his Foundation funds the Live to Dream Summer Reading Program for three years. They're looking to the community to match that amount to fund the program for another three years.

Interested donors can do so here online, or by contacting Kelley McCaskill, director of development at [email protected].

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