San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 3rd, 2009
'Team Peyton' scores big with reading program

“Team Peyton” poses with books at Irene K. Mendez Elementary.


Fourth graders at Irene K. Mendez Elementary joined with superstar quarterback brothers, Peyton and Eli Manning, in a Scholastic Book Clubs program to help donate one million books to disadvantaged children.

In September, students in Athena Reiche’s classes pledged to read 100 books as part of Scholastic Book Clubs’ “ClassroomsCare” program. The campaign is an effort to promote literacy and the joy of both reading and giving to others.

“Kids have big hearts, and nowhere is that more evident than when children help children through the ClassroomsCare program,” said the president of Scholastic Book Clubs Judy Newman.

“Classes around the country are reading 100 books each,” Newman continued. “When they meet that goal, the Mannings, Scholastic, and our charity partners will put one million books into the hands of the neediest children. The kids of Mendez Elementary get to see firsthand that their efforts can make the world a better place.”

Reiche’s two language arts classes joined together with fellow teacher Jamie McCullough’s class and formed “Team Peyton.” They kept track of their progress using a ClassroomsCare poster-sized chart. The website at provided activities, motivational videos featuring the Manning brothers, e-cards and sweepstakes.

“We did it!” cheered Reiche when she was notified in mid-October that “Team Payton” had already met its goal.

Mendez Assistant Principal Amber Gilley said, “Scholastic Book Clubs’ ClassroomsCare program lets both students and teachers demonstrate our spirit of service and sharing while also instilling a passion for reading.”

Since its launch in 2001, Scholastic Book Clubs’ ClassroomsCare initiative has enriched the lives of more than 36 million children nationwide. More than 27,114,000 students from over 1,084,500 classrooms have participated in ClassroomsCare activities, resulting in the donation of more than 9 million books to children in need. The ClassroomsCare program is open to all classrooms nationwide through Scholastic Book Clubs catalogs and the Scholastic Web site.

Scholastic Book Clubs and the Manning family will work with several leading charities to put books in the homes of families who need them most. Charity partners include: Reach Out and Read®, Save the Children®, Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, Peyton Manning’s Peyback Foundation, Mercy Health Partners, and the Eli and Abby Manning Birthing Center.

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