Student-athletes raise money to build Kindergarten reading space

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High school student-athletes made a big difference in their community by donating a reading area for Kindergarten students.

Last fall, Chicago Kindergarten teacher Abena Story asked for help to make the reading area for her students, but she got more in return than she ever expected.

Story knew it wouldn't be a normal day when she walked into her classroom to see cameras and extra guests.

No one told her that high school students from across Chicago spent the morning unloading a van and assembling the furniture she asked for to create the reading space.

In December, all of these Pepsico Showdown Student-Athletes decided to contribute at least $1 donation to reach the end-goal of $1,000.

But that wasn't all. Each athlete donated their favorite book to the library.

They also brought new bikes as an incentive to read and then presented Story with a check for $3,500.

"It's more supplies to them learn, and to help them understand how to sit down and socialize," said Story.

Story not only wanted the space for reading but to help her student interact and build social skills.

The students who pitched in said they hope the donation will make a difference for years to come.

"Being able to see their faces when they saw their books and their bikes," said one student-athlete. "That was just like a whole other type of happy feeling that I have."

"These kids are wonderful," Story added. "They've taken off school, they've helped put all of this together. I'm so appreciative to all of you guys."

This donation was part of the Making a Difference on and off the Field campaign led by the Chicago non-profit Buddy's Helpers, along with the Pepsico Showdown. These programs unite student-athletes in an annual community service campaign to show how powerful giving back to their community can be.

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