Paisley Sports Literacy Program

Last Session 2017

The Paisley Sports Literacy Program is a weekly after-school club for eighth-grade boys with an interest in sports. The program was started in 2016 by Dr. Alan Brown, Wake Forest student and football co-captain Wendell Dunn, and Paisley English teacher Bailey Allman. Over the years the program has included substantial support from university partners including former Wake Forest Assistant Dean of University Collaborations Dr. Donovan Livingston and Wake Forest students and athletes, including Tony Jones, Michael Allen, Evan Simmons, Gerald Davis, Jr., Jaquarii Roberson, and Kyle McKenzie. 

The 2022/2023 Paisley Sports Literacy Program meets on Wednesday afternoons at Paisley IB Magnet School in Winston-Salem, NC, and is led by Dr. Alan Brown and student-athletes (pictured left to right) Quincy Bryant, Caelen Carson, Dashawn Jones, and Jahmal Banks. The program is supported by Paisley Assistant Principal Nichole Harris.

The primary goals of the Paisley Sports Literacy Program include:

  • to support youth through academic, social, and community engagement,
  • to empower students who are interested in sports to read and write for enjoyment,
  • to explore social issues that affect the lives of adolescents and young adults through culturally-relevant literature,
  • to improve literacy skills and practices that support learning across content areas and promote college and career readiness.


The Paisley Sports Literacy Program has been supported by Wake Forest University’s Department of Education, Wake Forest Athletics, and Wake Forest University’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement. Initial grant funding was received from Winston-Salem Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative and Boston Thurmond Community Engagement Roundtable. Many other individuals and groups have also supported the program, and we are thankful for each one.


Media Coverage and Publications related to the Paisley Sports Literacy Program:

Jahmal Banks is Getting the Full College Experience on the Football Field and Off It for Wake Forest by John Dell (Winston-Salem Journal)

Sports Literacy, Community Dialogue, and Critical Reflection by Donovan Livingston and Alan Brown (JoLLE Scholars Speak Out) 

Sports Talk, Free Snacks, Good Books: The Paisley Sports Literacy Program by Alan Brown (YA Wednesday Blog)

Wake Forest Football – Etiquette Dinner 2017” (video) by Wake Forest Athletics

Helping Middle Schoolers Become ‘Contenders’” by Cheryl Walker (Wake Forest News) 

After-school Club Entices Kids with a Mix of Reading and Sports” by Arika Herron (Winston-Salem Journal)

Becoming a Contender” by Kim Underwood (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools)

The Contender 50th Anniversary Celebration and Reception at Paisley IB Magnet School

Information about Past Sports Literacy Programs:

Basketball and Books” by Cheryl Walker (Wake Forest News)

The Syllabus: The NCAA Tourney and Reluctant Readers” by John Newsom (Greensboro News & Record)