NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Wednesday afternoon, First Lady Crissy Haslem read the story of former Tennessee State Tigerbelle Wilma Rudolph to local fifth grade girls as part of the READ20 Family Book Club.
Members of the current TSU track and field team were also in attendance along with one of Wilma’s daughters, Yolanda.
“It is really good that children learn about Wilma,” Yolanda Rudolph said. “[Wilma’s story] instills the idea that no matter what the circumstance, they can do anything. Anything is possible.”
The short story illustrated Wilma’s rise from a young girl with polio into a three-time Gold Medal winner in the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Following the reading, the TSU track and field teams taught the young girls how to run the 100-meter dash and the 4x400 meter relay.
First Lady Haslam launched the Read 20 Family Book Club in June 2012 to highlight the importance of early literacy and parental engagement in children’s academic lives, encouraging Tennessee families to read together for at least 20 minutes each day. One book is selected each month as the featured “Book of the Month,” but families are encouraged to continue reading other books after finishing the featured book. Family friendly activities for the Book of the Month can be accessed by visiting the book club website, www.tn.gov/read20.