ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A famous attorney and an NFL hopeful are teaming up to improve literacy rates in south Georgia.
Attorney Ken Nugent and UGA football star Malcolm Mitchell visited elementary schools in Albany and Mitchell's hometown of Valdosta to read Mitchell's new children's book.
It's a partnership inspiring a lifelong love of reading.
"I help them understand that being an athlete is not the only thing out there, and that's a key, and that's something I struggle with also, so I can definitely relate," said Mitchell.
Albany first graders were not only mesmerized by the tale of "The Magician's Hat". They were starstruck by the famous people reading the book.
"Matt raised his hand and blurted you know I want to be a famous football player (points at Malcolm, Malcolm laughs," said Nugent.
Mitchell is preparing for the NFL draft full time right now, but he is making time for a cause he is passionate about.
"I don't think anyone who saw me growing up would have guessed this. I was the kid who would hide during popcorn reading!" laughed Mitchell.
No one would have guessed that a boy who hated to read has not only written a book for children, but his effort to improve literacy is gaining attention.
"Standing out on the football field, coming on as a leader and seeing what a great kid he was, it was really awesome. And the fact he wrote a book to connect with kids, really struck me as an exceptional thing to do, something I wanted to support," said Nugent. "Almost half the children in this community don't have a book."
Nugent has given every first grade student in Dougherty and Lowndes Counties a copy of the book "The Magician's Hat."
"I do, I do know that. I found a statistic that 61 percent of low income families don't have age appropriate books, when I figured that out, I knew something needed to change," said Mitchell.
Now, this man of action is taking action off the field, changing lives one book at a time.
Mitchell says his favorite book is "The Glass Castle", a story about a girl who overcomes great odds to success in her life.
To find out more about Mitchell's "Read with Malcolm" Youth Literacy Campaign, find visit his website here.