IOWA CITY, Iowa - In the midst of their studies and spring practice, 13 Iowa Hawkeye football players have found time to mentor kids in three Iowa City area schools.
Wednesday marked the kick-off of the annual Hawkeye Readers program, which brings football players into classrooms in the community. Over the next six weeks the players will make repeat visits to meet with students at Mark Twain, Grant Wood and Kirkwood elementary schools.
At Kirkwood, four players will mentor 5th and 6th graders. The athletes will not only read to the kids on a weekly basis, they'll also help with things like math.
"It's awesome to be an influence to kids in their lives," said Jordan Canzeri, a junior Hawkeye running back. "I wish we had something like this when I was younger."
Canzeri will be working with the kids at Kirkwood, along with Steve Ferentz, Corbin Blythe and Henry Krieger Coble.
"It's a great opportunity," he said.
The program is a joint effort between the Hawkeye football team and the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.