MILWAUKEE -- Baseball players are called the boys of summer, and even though that's when the game is played, the Milwaukee Brewers also want kids to remember to do something else during summer break.
Most days in the summer, you can find Ryan Braun on the baseball field, but on June 25, he delivered an important message at the the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center.
"I encourage all of you guys to learn about the joys of reading," said Braun.
The Brewers outfielder, with some help from the Famous Racing Sausages, kicked off the SHARP Literacy summer educational program involving approximately 375 students.
"I think SHARP Literacy does such a phenomenal job in trying to encourage learning and reading, especially with their summer reading program," said Braun.
"It's awesome that Ryan gives back, and takes time to get the kids all excited about summer learning, and really stresses the importance of how, you know, important reading is, especially over the summer months," said Lynda Kohler, president of SHARP Literacy.
Braun has been part of the summer program since its inception four years ago.
"It's something that I've really enjoyed. Something that the kids seem to really enjoy, and obviously, it's such an important part of their growth and development, especially during the summer months when they are not necessarily in school as often as they are the rest of the year," said Braun.
Kohler said because of the help from the Brewers and Braun, thousands of kids would be impacted by the program that goes beyond reading.
"We actually energize urban school children. We provide a program that is STEAM-based, and technology, and integrate the arts, so something different. A unique way of learning for over 8,600 kids a year," said Kohler.
There was even a camp planned on baseball analytics -- something Braun knows a bit about.
"I think the cool thing about something like that is that you find a way to make it relatable, and I think any time you can make reading and learning relatable, or create a subject matter that is interesting to the kids, I think that they will be more interested in it, and get more out of it," said Braun.
"It just shows the kids that you can be a professional baseball player, but it's still really important to be educated, and to read, and to give back to the community, and that's exactly what he does," said Kohler.
CLICK HERE to learn more about SHARP Literacy.