BOSTON (CBS) — Malcolm Mitchell won the Super Bowl as a rookie, but the Patriots receiver says that isn’t his greatest achievement.
Instead, it’s reading and writing. That may not be what you would expect from a strong and fast wide receiver, but off the field, Mitchell is an open book. He’s hoping his story — and his writing — can inspire children to read.
It’s been six weeks since Mitchell and his Patriots teammates hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in Houston. While most players are vacationing or spending their time with family this offseason, Mitchell is spreading his message to a number of schools across Massachusetts. He’s visiting local schools every day this week, and in some cases multiple schools, talking to young people about his passion outside of the game of football. He hopes it will teach them all an important lesson.
He hopes they learn that lesson earlier in life than he did.
“Reading truly changed my life,” Mitchell told WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben on Thursday, before visiting with children at the Butler School in Belmont.
When Mitchell arrived, the kids in the audience chanted his name. They sat and listened to him speak, clutching his book “The Magician’s Hat.”
“I’m here to talk about something as important as winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots,” he told the crowd.
Mitchell is honest with the kids, telling them of his struggles to read at an early age. He tried to hide those struggles early on, but decided in college that he had to do something about it.
“I wanted to be more. I didn’t want to go through life being the cliché of the status quo; somebody who simply played on the field and was defined by their athletic ability,” he explained. “I wanted to be somebody who could excel in any area of life, and the only way you can possibly do that is if you can read effectively.”
Reading became a passion of Mitchell’s. Harry Potter capture his imagination.
“It was no longer words on a page; it was like a movie being created in my mind,” he said.
So writing a book of his own came next.
“Reading is a magical experience, so that’s the idea of the magic in the book.” he said of “The Magician’s Hat,” which he’s been reading to the crowds at every one of his stops this week. “People gravitate to magic and in the book, the magician show the kids through reading they can reach their full potential.”
At 23-years-old, Mitchell has already achieved the goal of every NFL player. But he says his next chapter has yet to be written.
“It’s fun to walk in as a Super Bowl champion, and leave as somebody who’s an advocate for youth literacy.”
If you want your child to meet an author who also happens to be a Super Bowl champ, you have two chances this weekend. Mitchell will be at An Unlikely Story in Plainville on Saturday, March 25 from 4-5:30pm and at The Boston Athenaeum on Sunday, March 26 from 12:30-2:30pm. You can get more information on both appearances and register to attend on Mitchell’s website, readwithmalcolm.com.
While he intends on catching plenty of touchdowns throughout his NFL career, Mitchell also plans to write more books in the future.