Fever Reading Outing Goes Bilingual

July 3, 2008 | By Robert Ausdenmoore
The bilingual tag-team of first year Indiana Fever players Allison Feaster and Bernadette Ngoyisa took a break from basketball Thursday, July 3rd, to participate in a Fever Reading TimeOut at Thatcher Park.

Fever Reading TimeOuts, events where area children have the opportunity to read with Fever players, serve as the teamís primary commitment to the WNBA Read to Achieve program. This particular visit was done with participants and organizers from an Indy Parks summer day camp at Thatcher Park and Family Center and a group from the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center.

Ngoyisa, a three-year veteran acquired in a trade with the Chicago Sky earlier this year, is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and speaks French as her native language. Teammate Allison Feaster, who joined the Fever in March of 2008, spent six years of her WNBA off-seasons playing basketball abroad in France and knows its language well, herself.

Since joining the team, both players have developed a unique relationship, with Feaster becoming a translator at large for Ngoyisa in many situations. While this blend of teamwork is usually put at use running plays on the court, the two joined forces again Thursday to discuss the importance of reading, regardless of what language comes naturally to someone.

Youth participants and Feaster took turns reading a book and discussed why reading is such an important thing to learn and practice. Ngoyisa and Feaster then worked together to give a lesson in French centered on basketball terms. Prizes were later earned by a few children, in particular, who could remember the most words from the lesson.

All of the day campers in attendance were given books, Fever souvenirs and tickets, donated by Pacer Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon, to Saturdayís game against visiting Connecticut. Before the event was over, the children wrote thank you cards to him and the visiting Fever players.

Information on either the Mary Rigg or Indy Parks day camps is available online at www.maryrigg.org and www.indygov.org, respectively. Questions on organizing future Read to Achieve Reading TimeOuts with the Indiana Fever can be addressed to Community Relations manager Roberta Courtright.