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Two former Gamecock football players find a fun way to promote an important message

West Columbia, SC - Anytime you get former Gamecock football players together, you know it’s going to be a good time.

That was certainly the case Monday, when Langston Moore and Preston Thorne visited Pineview Elementary with a fun way to promote an important topic -- reading.

The two former University of South Carolina football players are touring more than 25 schools statewide this fall, reading from their Gamecock-themed children’s book “#JustaChicken,” illustrated by fellow USC alum Kevin Roche.

The reading tour is a way of “adding our voice to all the teachers' voices and reinforcing what they’re already doing everyday,” Thorne said.

“Education is super important to me,” said Thorne, a Midlands teacher for more than 10 years. Reading, he added, is one of the “biggest return investments” students can make.

Monday, Moore and Thorne had an assembly of kindergarten through second grade students crowing like roosters, cheering and clapping for the characters in #JustaChicken,” a story about what it’s like to be a Gamecock. Moore and Thorne also met with third through fifth grade students at the Lexington Two school to talk about working hard and achieving goals.

“Reading was always prevalent in my household,” said Moore, who played for several years in the NFL and is now a sideline reporter for Gamecock football radio. Moore said his own mother was a teacher who always set the example of reading as a tool for success.

Pineview Elementary Principal David Sims said having the two former Gamecock players come to the school and share their stories is important.

“It makes connections and helps the students understand that in all walks of life reading, writing and speaking will be important,” Sims said. “Some students realize that at one time the celebrity visiting was ‘just like me.’ This opens up and models for the students that all things are possible if you are willing to work hard for it.”

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