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Bulldogs celebrate reading: Fresno State football players, coach visit Gettysburg Elementary for Dr. Seuss’ birthday

Fresno State defensive back DeShawn Potts visited the Gettysburg Elementary preschool class for Read Across America Day.
Fresno State defensive back DeShawn Potts visited the Gettysburg Elementary preschool class for Read Across America Day.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss wrote these words in his book “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!” He would’ve turned 112 on March 2.

His message rang loud and clear last week when members of the Fresno State football team visited Gettysburg Elementary to read books to students in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, celebrated nationally as Read Across America Day.

Head coach Tim DeRuyter and the players visited every classroom to read their favorite Dr. Seuss books aloud, and then posed for photos and signed autographs for their young fans. Their goal was to motivate children to read.

“You guys better start learning to love reading because there’s going to be a lot more of it in college,” said long snapper Justin Verrell to a fourth grade class.

Verrell admitted that he was good at reading in elementary school but “didn’t love it.” Now, as a college student, he said he realizes that reading is the foundation of education.

DeRuyter told a classroom of fifth graders that he values athletes who study hard and play hard.

“When we recruit athletes, we want to make sure they’re strong academically, and reading is a huge part of that,” he said. “We want football players who want to be the best on the field, and the best in the classroom as well.”

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