Michigan community joins the WrestleMania Reading Challenge

Michigan community joins the WrestleMania Reading Challenge

GRAYLING, Mich. -- WWE honored one Northern Michigan community that has especially embraced the WrestleMania Reading Challenge with a special visit by some of this year's Superstar spokespeople -- Big Show, Kofi Kingston and Hornswoggle. (PHOTOS)

Bambi Mansfield, the director of the Crawford County library system has spearheaded the effort, encouraging not only students, but members of the entire community, young and old, to get involved.

"It started out with one young girl who came and asked me to do the program," Mansfield told WWE.com.

That girl is 10-year-old fifth grader Haley Kovefus, an avid reader and WWE fan who admires Melina, Beth Phoenix and John Cena.

"I really, really like to read a lot and I suggested to my dad earlier that we should do the WrestleMania reading Challenge so everyone can have a chance to go to WrestleMania," Haley said.

Haley was just one of many members of the WWE Universe who excitedly met Big Show, Kingston and Hornswoggle at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit before they watched SmackDown and WWE NXT live earlier this month.

Mansfield said that before the library signed on to participate, she had at least 20 students and parents inquiring about the Challenge, hoping they could read their way to WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta. Since then, Mansfield has introduced the WrestleMania Reading Challenge into Crawford County's elementary, middle and high schools. She received full support from the superintendent because she had already successfully implemented WWE's Get R.E.A.L. program into the schools.

Now, every pre-school through fifth grade teacher is on board with this year's WrestleMania Reading Challenge.

"That would be probably 600 to 700 hundred kids, at least, committing to read the five books. Then we're doing a big, blow out event at the end countywide," she explained.

But the enthusiasm hasn't stopped there. She also introduced the WrestleMania Reading Challenge into Crawford County nursing homes.

"I think we got more response from the elderly people in the nursing homes than we did with anyone because they would sit down with you and say, ‘Remember when we sat with you as a kid and watched the Iron Sheik?'

"It's amazing how much this spans all cultures, all socioeconomic classes and all ages," Mansfield said. "I really have seen it bring the young and old together."

Don't miss out on your chance to read to win a trip to WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta. Join the WrestleMania Challenge when it begins Oct. 16! For more information, visit wrestlemaniareadingchallenge.com. Also, check out a list of participating libraries and official rules.

For more on Bambi Mansfield's participation in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, visit WWE.com's Teachers' Corner. For more on the Crawford Country Library, visit crawfordco.lib.mi.us.

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