SLINGER -- No matter what Charles Barkley thinks or says, many people, especially kids, see athletes as role models, so officials with the Slinger School District are using that to their advantage.
Some Slinger High School athletes recently suited up -- not for a game or competition, but to serve as role models to read.
"We are reading to the little kids and just showing them that as athletes, your focus on your academics too and how important it is," Hannah Strupp, senior softball player said.
They weren't reading just any books. They read Dr. Seuss books in celebration of his birthday on March 2nd.
"Considering they were Dr. Seuss books, they had a lot of tongue twisters, but I think I did pretty good," Strupp said.
The high school students brought with them presents for the elementary school students.
"We did posters to show the little kids that reading is important and it helps you, not only in elementary school but as high schoolers and further on in life, so by incorporating like, athletes in with the academics, it's pretty cool," Strupp said.
Slinger High School Principal Philip Ourada came up with the idea.
"Mr. Ourada actually came and asked if we would like to be on the poster and I said 'yes' and just went along with it," Strupp said.
"He wanted to do this thing where we read to the kids here to get them involved with us and to promote reading and to make it seem cool to the kids here that us high schoolers are still reading," John German, senior track athlete said.
While getting children to read and learn about the power of reading was the basic reason for the posters and visit with the children, it also meant a lot to German and Strupp.
"It was really fun. I was in the first grade classroom and I think that the kids really enjoyed it -- getting involved, laughing with the books and stuff so that was cool to see," German said.
"It was a lot of joy in just seeing how they loved it and how much impact I'm having on their lives at such a young age," Strupp said.
"It's a cool experience to know that the example we are setting as athletes and as students is something that's not overlooked and that these students are seeing it and we are inspiring them so that's a cool, cool thing to look at and keep in mind," German said.
"I enjoy reading outside of school too so to teach these little kids how important it is pretty cool," Strupp said.
The posters didn't just include student-athletes. They also included students involved in band and drama showing the importance of reading.