A new program dubbed Indy’s Book Club is and eight-part series that will feature local student-athletes reading books to give young students a virtual, educational outlet as the 2020-2021 school year ramps up.
Indy’s Book Club, formed via a partnership between Independence Bank and Owensboro Parent Magazine, will kick off with the first virtual reading on Wednesday. Readings will be available every Wednesday and Friday at 3:30 p.m. on the two companies’ Facebook pages.
“Every year, summer reading loss with our youth is a real concern in the community,” said Kyle Aud, Independence Bank Senior Vice President. “With the pandemic creating a longer window without in-person instructional learning and student engagement, we wanted to create a fun experience to help motivate our younger students to read more than they normally would at home.
“The idea behind asking our local high school athletes to get involved stemmed from our belief that elementary-aged kids would be inspired and super responsive to these well-known area athletes.”
Gavin Wimsatt, a nationally ranked football player and junior at Owensboro High School, will kick off the readings with “The Magic in Me – My Magical Dreams.”
“Any time there is something that I can do to help kids, I am all for it,” Wimsatt said. “Kids are the future so we have to help them grow to be the best they can be. I haven’t accomplished my goals yet, but I am inspired by these kids because I know they look up to me.”
The entire “The Magic of Me” series will be read, and according to author Becky Cummins, the mission of the series is to help teachers and parents “instill a mindset of health and happiness” with the children they love.
Each book was hand-picked by Independence Bank and Owensboro Parent to convey messages of self-love, confidence and bravery for young readers as they navigate the 2020-2021 school year.
“One of the reasons this initiative is important and timely for Owensboro Parent Magazine is because we realize that education, in a formal sense, has changed because of the pandemic,” said Jason Tanner, Owner and Publisher of Tanner Publishing. “If we can contribute in any way to the educational experience as a benefit to our community we want to be part of it. It has always been our mission to connect with families and young children, and this partnership is allowing us to do that.”
Both Independence Bank and Owensboro Parent Magazine hope to extend the book club well beyond its initial eight readings.
“Our Bank employees have been reading to students at Estes Elementary for many years, and the book club idea began as a way to help replace our usual in-person visits,” Aud said. “We quickly saw that children throughout the community would enjoy being part of the club and it’s our hope to continue Indy’s Book Club readings well into the school year.”
Indy, Independence Bank’s official Little Patriots Savings Club mascot, will be helping to host the book club by housing each reading when it goes live on his dedicated page at 1776bank.com/LittlePatriots. Access to the entire series is free and open to everyone.
The full schedule is as follows:
- “The Magic in Me – My Magical Dreams” read by Gavin Wimsatt, OHS junior | Reading 8.5
- “The Magic in Me – My Magical Words” read by Abby Warren, OHS junior | Reading 8.7
- “The Magic in Me – My Magical Choices” read by Owen Hayden, OCHS senior | Reading 8.12
- “The Magic in Me- My Magical Gifts” read by Hannah McKay, Murray State University freshman | Reading 8.14
- “I Like Myself” read by John Nalley, DCHS senior | Reading 8.19
- “Remarkably You” read by Kyra Rowan, DCHS senior | Reading 8.21
- “Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind” read by Zoe Floyd, AHS senior | Reading 8.26
- “Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave” read by Parker Bates, AHS senior | Reading 8.28