Darren Bates, a Columbus native and current student at Brandeis University, has given back to the community for years. One way Darren Bates has given back to Columbus is through his participation in the 2nd & 7 Foundation, which focuses on teaching literacy to students seven years of age or less.
Second grade is one of the most critical times in a child’s life in regard to literacy. Those who do not achieve basic literacy by this time often face difficulties later in life, so the 2nd & 7 Foundation focuses on getting children at this age to enjoy reading and develop the necessary skills for it.
2nd & 7 partners with student athletes at the high-school and college level to achieve its goals. These young people serve as role models to children at risk of coming up short in literary development. In addition to reading with the children, these young mentors try to impress upon them the value of the lessons in each story. They also highlight the necessity of strong school performance for participation in school athletics, encouraging the children to consider building both healthy bodies and healthy minds.