Amanda Palutis, a member of The Ohio State University women’s swimming team, reads to Summit Academy – Columbus Community school students Zy’Amarrie and King. Palutis joined other OSU athletes on an April 1 visit to the school to read to students as part of The 2nd & 7 Foundation’s mission to promote reading and encourage athletes to “pay it forward” to the community.

Athletes from The Ohio State University’s 2nd & 7 Foundation stopped by Summit Academy Community School – Columbus to read to students in grades K-3 on April 1.  Clustered in small groups around individual athletes, the children listened attentively and enthusiastically as the athletes flipped through the pages of “The Hog Mollies and Little Lily’s Legacy.”

Foundation board member and former OSU/NFL football player Allen DeGraffenreid along with members of university’s synchronized swimming, women’s club lacrosse and swimming/diving teams spent the morning dedicating their time reading to the students, says Summit Academy Elementary Data Coach Kirstie Ernst. “We love when they stop by,” she says.

The mission of The 2nd & 7 Foundation is to promote reading by providing free books and positive role models to children while encouraging athletes in the local community to pay it forward, according to Janet Kassoff, senior program manager for the foundation.

“We were so inspired by the Summit Academy students and their curiosity regarding the college athletes’ studies and sports. We found the elementary students very engaging and love their enthusiasm while reading in small groups and discussing important life lessons in the Hog Mollies story,” Kassoff says.

Kassoff adds that OSU athletes from The 2nd and 7 Foundation look forward to their annual visits to Summit Academy with great anticipation.

“We love our visits to Summit Academy thanks to the kindness of the amazing students and staff,” Kassoff says. “We respect Summit Academy as a warm and encouraging learning environment for all students.”