The Texans veteran guard participated in his foundation’s “Reading with the Pros” event at Park Place Elementary School on Monday morning. Smith’s event coincided with Read Across America Day, an initiative that emphasizes the importance of reading for youth created by the National Education Association and held on the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
Seated on a wooden chair inside the Park Place Library, Smith read the tongue-twisting words of Dr. Seuss’ “Fox in Socks” to a crowd of enthusiastic kindergarteners. Between Houston and his hometown of Dallas, Smith estimates he’s read aloud to students at more than 20 different schools.
“Reading back and forth with my kids at the house is kind of normal, so you get to have fun with it and kind of act it out,” he said. “Especially a book by Dr. Seuss, you can really get silly with it. The kids really like that. They’re just happy that you’re there reading to them, so it’s always an awesome experience.”
After finishing the story and fielding questions about his socks from the youngsters, Smith addressed a room full of third and fourth graders about leadership and valuing their education.
Park Place School Principal Silvia Trinh was appreciative of the NFL players’ encouragement young students to read.
“Everybody from our Pre-K’ers to our oldest teacher on campus is super excited to see somebody outside of school excited about reading,” Trinh said. “Because they are professional players, there’s a very good correlation to making the connection that reading is important no matter what profession you’re in.”
Joining Smith for the morning were a few other NFL players, including former Texan Eric Winston, Pro Bowler Ken Hamlin.
“The program wouldn’t work without the participation from my teammates,” Smith said. “Plenty of guys from the Texans have done it;