St. John Fisher College and the Buffalo Bills celebrated their third annual "Literacy Day" at Buffalo Bills Training Camp on August 10, 2010. In addition, by special proclamation, the City of Rochester announced Tuesday, August 10, as "Literacy Day" in Rochester, New York.
Literacy Day was designed to support, celebrate, and promote the Rochester Literacy Movement launched by Mayor Duffy as a way to engage the community in the effort to make Rochester the most literate mid-sized city in the country. In addition, Literacy Day is an opportunity to showcase the positive impact of community partnerships, in this case the partnership among the City of Rochester, the Buffalo Bills, and St. John Fisher College.
To celebrate Literacy Day, the Buffalo Bills and Fisher hosted 50 children from six city organizations, including public libraries and community centers. The children participated in group activities before attending the Bills' practice. The activities were run by St. John Fisher and Buffalo Bills staff and the sessions included:
• A discussion on "Literacy in Nutrition"
• A hands-on session with "Google Lit"
• A presentation entitled "Chalk Talk: Careers in Sports"
• A calisthenics session
• A demonstration on "How to Create a Newspaper"
• A tour of Fisher's Pharmacy Lab
By hosting these activities, the students had the opportunity to experience a college campus, learn the applications of literacy in all aspects of their lives, and set post-high school career and education goals.
After the group activities, the children attended the Buffalo Bills' Training Camp, where they had a chance to play in the interactive games of the Bills Experience, watch the practice, and have a personal autograph session with a select group of players. Bills players including George Wilson, Torell Troup, Spencer Johnson and Alex Carrington were on-hand to meet with the children and take photos as well.
As part of the Literacy Day celebration, several of the Bills players participated in the festivities by recommending their favorite books. Participating players and their favorite books were quarterback Trent Edwards, Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss, safety Jon Corto, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, safety George Wilson, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit, safety Bryan Scott, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, offensive lineman Eric Wood, Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, wide receiver Lee Evans, Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, defensive end Chris Kelsay, The Bible and Billy Buffalo, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Seuss.
Flyers that listed the players' book recommendations were included in gift bags for the students. Each child also received a copy of the book Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.