ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- In an effort to help children learn to read while out of school, former University of Georgia football star and Super Bowl champion Malcom Mitchell is leading the charge.

During the past two weeks he has been reading to children daily on Facebook, encouraging students to continue to learn.

Football Player

“The benefits of reading a loud are astounding. Research shows that it increases confidence, cognitive strength, interaction, lower stress levels, all the above,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell speaks from experience. He entered UGA reading at a 6th grade level. Since then he has published his own children’s book and started the Share the Magic Foundation focused on literacy programs.

“For about a week, week and a half now, we’ve had up to 40,000 views in totality, so I think teachers and parents are looking content and information to continue to grow their kids as learners,” Mitchell said.

One of those teachers benefiting from Mitchell’s online content now that school is closed due to the Coronavirus is Atlanta public school teacher Jasmine Johnson.

“It’s a great opportunity to hear someone be so animated because most read aloud videos are kind of boring,” Johnson said.

Mitchell hopes his love and passion for reading will inspire children to accomplish their dreams and one day tell their story.

“Illiteracy is a global issue and we are trying to do our best to eradicate it, so people have the best chance of living a great life,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said there are about one billion illiterate people around the world and the work he is doing to teach children to read far surpasses anything he accomplished on the football field.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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