BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell is back in New England, taking part in a different kind of rolling rally.
The last time he was in the area, Mitchell was on a duck boat parading through the streets of Boston and celebrating the team’s Super Bowl LI championship. Now, he’s leading a tour of “reading rallies” through the area, visiting seven schools over the next five days and taking part in a total of 12 literacy events.
“Growing up, I didn’t read much. I got to college and understood the importance of it, and I saw how much it changed my life and helped me. Now it’s a mission of mine to make sure every kid does the best they could possibly be to be the best they could possibly be, and I believe through reading, they could do that,” Mitchell said after visiting the Nathan Hale School in Roxbury on Monday. “If I had to write a book of one the wonders of the world, it would be about a kid grasping a book and really embracing it.”
It’s clear that reading is very important to the New England receiver and it changed his life. He’s now using his status to make sure kids understand that simply picking up a book can change their life too.
“I believe that one book at a time could possibly change the world. If you could change one life, incrementally over time, it will eventually change the world,” said Mitchell, who said the first book he remembers reading is Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
Mitchell said becoming a Super Bowl champ has broadened his reach, though it was still pretty big before he was drafted by the Patriots. He made sure to give back to the community while a student-athlete at the University of Georgia, something he is now doing in New England during his first NFL offseason. He also has his own foundation, Read With Malcolm, and the 23-year-old has penned his own children’s book: The Magician’s Hat.
He’ll be giving out copies of the book at each stop, and says the message inside is a simple one.
“I’d like to take that, through reading, you can accomplish all your goals. Through reading, you have the possibilities of reaching your full potential,” he said.
Later Monday, Mitchell will participate in a “Teacher’s Night Out” event to honor educators. It’s all part of an extremely busy week for Mitchell, but as long as he is spreading his message, he doesn’t mind schedule at all.
“[Seeing] their smiles, seeing them hug the book and asking if they can keep it – that’s enough to keep going right there,” he said of the kids he visited on Monday. “I hope they’ll pick up a book and allow the magic to take effect.”
Mitchell’s focus will be back on the football field soon enough, when he’ll start preparing for his second season as a member of the New England Patriots. But until he’s catching touchdowns passes from Tom Brady again, his end zone is making sure children around New England know how important it is to pick up a book every day.