INDIANAPOLIS — Growing up, Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen said he didn’t have anyone who pushed him to read. But now, Allen is aiming to be that voice to Hoosiers of all ages by working with the Indianapolis Public Library to promote reading.
Recently, Allen initiated the “Super Read Challenge,” which encouraged residents to read throughout the month of February for a chance to win 2014-15 Colts season tickets.
A presentation in the Central Library’s West Reading Room Thursday marked the culmination of the challenge, as library officials and Allen announced that the winner was Indianapolis resident Melanie Ohlsen.
Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes gave everyone a background of the reading program.
“We have had a great relationship with all of our professional sports teams here in our city,” Nytes said. “Since Colts player Dwayne Allen’s rookie season, he has been a real leader in that relationship that we’ve had. This is not his first visit to Central Library at all — he’s absolutely earned his library stripes. In fact, it was determined just a few weeks back, he is an official storyteller. We think we have room for him in our ranks if he ever gets tired of football.”
Nytes said the idea behind the program was to promote reading throughout Black History Month — especially books that had Black History and Civil Rights themes.
“In an attempt to motivate Indianapolis residents to do a little bit more reading, he was the one who dreamed up this challenge to win Colts tickets,” Nytes said. “We spend a lot of time trying to think of contest ideas and ways to get people into the library. It is really thrilling when someone like Dwayne calls up and says ‘I’ve got an idea.’ That is just the neatest thing in the whole world. The community really responded.”