WILMINGTON, N.C. Student-athletes from nine UNC Wilmington teams visited Alderman Elementary School Wednesday morning to promote literacy through the school’s popular “Reading Rocks” program.

The Seahawk student-athletes visited Kindergarten, First, Second and Fifth Grade classes, reading selections to approximately 150 children.

In addition to UNCW’s student-athletes, the Alderman classes heard from Mayor Bill Saffo, WECT-TV news anchor Jim Hanchett, members of the Wilmington police and fire departments, members of the New Hanover County school board and others.

The 23 student-athletes who participated in the annual program included Christie Appleton (women’s golf), Justin Barefoot (baseball), Brian Burkhart (men’s track and field), Carly Clifton (women’s track and field), Chris Freeman (men’s soccer), Lori Harrison (women’s track and field), Todd Hendley (men’s basketball), Frank Higginbotham (men’s cross country), Jennifer Huber (women’s track and field), Kirk Hudgins (men’s soccer), Chris Johnson (baseball), Emily Klein (women’s golf), Jill Krawczewicz (women’s track and field), Brittney Lehrschall (softball), Mark Locklear (baseball), Priscilla Roberts (women’s tennis), Shade Smith (women’s basketball), Lindsay Styons (softball), Ashley Tait (women’s golf), Sahsha Taylor (women’s basketball), Liana Viljoen (women’s golf) and Morgan Walters (softball).

Women’s tennis coach Jenny Garrity represented the coaching staff at the special event and Sammy the Seahawk also joined in the festivities. This year marks the sixth time UNCW’s student-athletes have participated in the program.