CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Instead of hitting the field for practice, University of Iowa Hawkeye football players called the shots in elementary school classrooms.
Hawkeye Defense Back Manny Rugamba works with students as part of the Hawkeye Readers program at Kirkwood Elementary School on Monday, April 16, 2018. (Matt Wilde, KCRG-TV9)
The players are visiting three Iowa City School District elementary schools for their annual Hawkeye Readers program. It's a six week program.
On Monday, some of the players made a stop at Kirkwood Elementary School, which is located in Coralville.
Players sat down and helped these sixth graders read "The Giver." That included Defensive Back Manny Rugamba, who's a junior. He says players usually jump at the opportunity to give back and have fun.
"The more that they get on this early on, the better off that they'll be," said Rugamba. "They're going to be reading as long as they're in school. I'm still reading now, I have reading assignments all the time. The more that they can get their nose in a book, the better off they'll be."
This is the ninth year for the program. Players will also help out at Mark Twain and Grant Wood elementary schools.