Holding a brand-new book and poster freshly autographed by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin, young Kazir got to talking Wednesday morning about why he loves reading.
Among two dozen students in the Prince Hall Elementary School library for the "READ! By 4th Campaign" literacy event, the youngster said that good books often offer quality life lessons.
"Dictionaries. Other large books," he mentioned of things he's read. "One book taught me how to drive a car."
That's when Kazir's second-grade friend Jeremiah had heard enough.
"You don't know how to drive a car," he maintained, accurately, one would hope.
A push for early literacy
What Kazir does know how to do is read.
And that was the point that brought Boykin, the Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP), School District Deputy Chief of Early Childhood Education Diane Castelbuono, Urban Affairs Coalition President Sharmain Matlock-Turner and others to the North Gratz Street school.
Boykin will serve as "a leading voice" in the campaign aiming to "boost the number of children reading on grade level by the start of fourth grade," something that more than half couldn't do, according to 2012 statistics cited at the launch.
Boykin, a 2012 fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Georgia, focused his message on a couple points.