Shaughnessy Reads to Kids

...Chances are he'll read you Laura Numeroff's book, If you Take a Mouse to School. And if you are one of the 290 children attending Brookfield Elementary in Kindergarten through 2nd grade, you would have heard rookie DE Matt Shaughnessy read this childhood classic. Shaughnessy took time out of his schedule recently to read a few books to the students of Brookfield in East Oakland. Matt enjoyed the whole experience saying, "It was great, I like doing events like these, and I used to do a lot in Madison, back in college."

After reading each book, Matt made sure to include how important school and reading was, especially for young minds like the students at Brookfield. "Reading is important, especially in the long run. You can't do anything without it," Shaughnessy said. East Oakland's school district strives to make differences in their student's lives by stressing the importance of reading.

Principal Adam Taylor's vision is, "To create an educational environment of and for success for all Brookfield students. To help, we propose to create a community called Brookfield Buddies."

While other areas around Oakland have Parent-Teacher Associations, extra funds or helpers and projects, this organization's goal is to get more people actively involved. For the past 10 years, Jo Budman, volunteer coordinator, has been enriching children's lives with the magic of reading. "Oakland schools are under-funded and understaffed, and tough communities, especially East Oakland, are way under-served and under-supported by volunteer and community support and resources. Family support is hardest also in this area where daily struggles leave less time and contact with these young children to bolster their skills and self-confidence," said Budman.

The Brookfield Buddies program involves volunteers helping out with readings for children from K through the 5th grade level. Students get opportunities to listen, read, and discuss the books as a group. The program also has plans of beautifying the school with outdoor gardening and indoor arts. They plan to do this all while incorporating healthy eating tips, along with sports and fitness activities.

The Brookfield Buddies program is new and it was meaningful for the kids to have a local celebrity like Shaughnessy support their cause.

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