Skip Prosser Literacy Program

The Skip Prosser Literacy Program’s READ Challenge is a collaboration between WFU Department of Education, WFU Athletics, WFU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, WFU Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and BookmarksNC.

Since 2009, the Wake Forest University Athletics Department has teamed up with schools in Forsyth County to encourage reading among 4th grade students. The Skip Prosser READ Challenge encourages students to read independently, which includes both in-class and out-of-class independent reading time. Reading may include the use of books, eBooks, newspapers, magazines, comics, and other forms of text.

To learn more about the history of the Skip Prosser Literacy Program, see “Reading: The Legacy of Skip Prosser” by Kyle Tatich of Wake Forest Athletics.

In 2017, Alan Brown from the Department of Education began collaborating with Wake Forest Athletics to make the Skip Prosser Literacy Program the umbrella for various community-engaged literacy programs that involve undergraduate students and student-athletes from Wake Forest University.

Since the program was rebranded in the fall of 2019, a total of 2,597 fourth graders from elementary schools across Forsyth County have participated in the Skip Prosser READ Challenge. In 2021/2022, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 860 fourth graders from 21 elementary schools participated with 436 fourth-graders reaching the Champion level by reading at least 2000 minutes.

Each fall semester, Alan Brown invites students from his section of EDU 101: Issues and Trends in Education to participate in supporting the Skip Prosser Literacy program. EDU 101 is a thematic course that encourages students to examine various intersections of sport, education, and society and the impact of sports culture on K-12 schools. EDU 101 incorporates both fiction and nonfiction texts, including young adult literature, as students examine understandings, generalizations, stereotypes, and misconceptions about the culture of sports in American schools in contrast to other educational settings around the world.

At least four times during the semester, students in Alan Brown’s EDU 101 students visit local elementary schools in support of the Skip Prosser Literacy Program. These school visits encourage Wake Forest students to consider their own considerable influence as students and athletes in the lives of children and to promote literacy learning in their local community. Learn more about past visits here and here.