600 books delivered to kids (with photos)

By Haley Burton
By Casey Killian

October 21, 2013 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 9:13 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In efforts to promote literacy, every student at Theodore Roosevelt was given a new book Monday.

Athletes for Charity along with the Binghamton Mets, First Book and students from Binghamton University delivered nearly 600 brand new reading books and school supplies to students at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School.

Binghamton University students and members of Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity and Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority (Psi Chapter) held several book drives on campus to help fund raise to buy the books.

Columbian Financial Group also gave a donation to buy additional books.

"As a Binghamton University alumni, it is my pleasure to have teamed up with current Binghamton University students and the Binghamton Mets to benefit the students of Roosevelt Elementary through a delivery of books to encourage the importance of reading for kids," said Cathleen Laporte, founder of Athletes for Charity, "The overall objective is to get kids to want to read. It will help expand their vocabulary and help them become smarter."

Alonzo Harris, a Binghamton Mets player, helped delivered the books to students. Buddy the Bee, the B-Mets mascot, also attended.

"With the majority of our season taking place after the school year has concluded, we don't get to do as much as we want to with local schools," said Connor Gates, Director of Community Relations for the Binghamton Mets, "This is a great event that we are very happy to be a part of."

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield donated school supplies that were also delivered to students at Theodore Roosevelt.

"Our students and teachers are excited about having such a wonderful opportunity presented to our school," said David Chilson, Principal of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, "It's a great opportunity because our students here work really hard and to have college students, student-athletes and professional athletes come here today to explain to kids how important it is to read and to love reading, it should be a memorable day for our students."

Athletes for Charity is also hosting essay and drawing contests for the students.

They can win prizes donated by professional New York sports teams.