In the spirit of this weekend’s Super Bowl, we have collected resources relating how football is being used to promote literacy around the globe.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) reports that enterprising librarians at the University of Dubuque (Iowa) are using fantasy football to teach information literacy. “Fantasy football sessions created the building blocks for future information literacy successes by bridging the students’ existing experiences to the skills required for college.” (Blog)

Reading The Game (RTG) is a partnership with the National Literacy Trust in the United Kingdom, working with professional football (soccer for those of us in the States) to promote literacy and to raise reading motivation for all ages. Thanks to funding from the Football Foundation, a unique post was established in 2002 at the NLT to help strengthen the role of football as a key motivational force in raising literacy standards for both children and adults. Reading The Game was launched at Manchester City Football Club on 25th September 2002. This partnership will continue for another 3 years from January 2008.

The Houghton Mifflin Company’s online Education Place includes an interactive, football-themed literacy website for kids called “Tackle Reading.” Kids can use this website to set reading goals, find books, get reading tips, print bookmarks, read player’s stories, play football word games, and more.

The Wright Stuff
A New Orleans teacher’s encouragement has resulted in a literacy club whose student members are writing a novel about themselves as first-year college students.

Reading instructor Danyel McLain has helped eight of her students at Henry C. Schaumburg Elementary School form the club which has penned the story called “504 Boyz Go to College.” It tells the tale of first-year Louisiana State University students who are members of LSU’s band and football and basketball teams. So far the boys have written six chapters and plan on writing four more.

To keep the boys interested in writing, McLain helped them form the club, complete with its own logo and t-shirts. To celebrate their achievements she organized book signing in the school’s cafeteria.
“I didn’t think I was that smart before,” said Joshua, 14, one of the writers. But, he says, “I pay attention. I do my work.”
SOURCE: New Orleans Times Picayune, January 8, 2008

Introducing First-Year Student-Athletes to the Library:
The Michigan State University Experience
Athletics on college campuses is one of the oldest traditions in higher education. To this day, most institutions of higher education have intercollegiate athletic programs which means that a large number of student-athletes exist on American campuses. Student-athletes, like other special populations on campus, have unique needs that make them different from other students. One area that student-athletes need help in is in accessing and learning how to use the library system on their campus.

Rams Reader Team/ Literacy Initiatives:
The Rams place a high priority on literacy and partner with area organizations to increase interest in reading, provide free books for underserved communities and train tutors. The Rams also encourage youth to tackle reading by joining the Rams Reader Team , a program that targets kids from kindergarten to high school. Participants are encouraged to visit their local library, sign up to be a Rams Reader Team member, and choose a book from the reading list created from suggestions by the St. Louis Rams football players and chairman and owner, Georgia Frontiere. To reinforce the importance of literacy, each week during the program, players visit libraries and schools to read to children.

Other Super Bowl tidbits:
— The Super Bowl represents the No. 1 at-home party event of the year (even bigger than New Year’s Eve) and the No. 2 food-consumption day of the year.
— Approximately $55 million will be spent on Super Bowl food this year.
— Ten million man-hours is spent on Super Bowl food preparation.