49ers visit Reading Partners at Lakewood Elementary School

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(From left to right) DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, C Nick Easton, NT Garrison Smith, P Bradley Pinion, LB Michael Wilhoite, C Marcus Martin along with Jenna York and Mara York greet students from Lakewood Elementary.

Whether it's coverages or a playbook, the San Francisco 49ers are fully-versed on the fundamentals of reading. On Monday, September 28, in an effort to put their reading skills to good use, LB Michael Wilhoite, P Bradley Pinion, C Nick Easton, C Marcus Martin and DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, along with 49ers Ownership family members, Jenna York and Mara York, teamed up with Reading Partners, a national non-profit which provides one-on-one reading instruction to students, to spend an afternoon sharing their knowledge of reading with children at Lakewood Elementary School. The event included an interactive reading aloud experience followed by one-on-one tutoring lessons.

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The two-hour event, in collaboration with Reading Partners, started in the school's library with a read aloud session of If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff. To get into the spirit of the day, Pinion, Smith and Jerod-Eddie dressed up as mice and acted the book out for the children.

Following the read aloud enactment, the 49ers conducted one-on-one tutoring sessions with Reading Partners students. The players helped individual students with exercises focusing on comprehension, phonics, and fluency.

"It was a fun atmosphere and the kids had great energy," said LB Michael Wilhoite. "I really enjoyed listening to them learn and improve their reading skills. Reading is something that's really important."

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LB Michael Wilhoite conducts one-on-one tutoring with a student from Lakewood Elementary School.

"I really enjoyed the one-on-one tutoring with the kids," continued Wilhoite. "We got to learn about the kids and actually get to see their personalities and understand where they're from while also sharing a bit about our own personalities and backgrounds. We got to converse and communicate more with them."

Reading Partners' mission is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results. Reading Partners provides one-on-one instruction to elementary school students reading below grade level to help them succeed in school and life, which is closely aligned with the 49ers Foundation's mission to keep kids "Safe, On Track and In School."

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C Nick Easton, DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, P Bradley Pinion and LB Michael Wilhoite high-five students at Lakewood Elementary

"Connecting role models from the community with our students through books can mean more than we'll know until much later," said Lakewood Principal Pamela Cheng. "It's heartening to see people take the time to make a difference on the campuses of our public schools—they are some of the few places left these days where children and adults from all walks of life gather to connect and learn from each other."

For more information on Reading Partners, including volunteer opportunities, please visit their website.

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