RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Readers make leaders, and one Richmond woman wants to grow an entire generation of them.
She's doing it through a new after-school literacy program at Blackwell Community Center, helping young students expand their libraries, and most importantly, their minds.
Some call them readers. Others say they're bookworms. However, they like to refer to themselves as nerds.
"It's good to be a nerd," said third grader Demetrius Davis.
They have the shirts to prove it. Alexandra Hicks started the Nerd Squad literary after-school program back in September. This self-proclaimed nerd loves to read.
"I feel like reading really opened up the world," said Hicks.
She thought a kids book club would open up their worlds.
"We get together every week on Tuesdays - Nerd Squad Tuesdays - for about six to eight weeks, and we read a book together, we discuss the book, we journal things that we've learned within the book, words that we like," said Hicks.
Hicks provides the books for the students to read, and they are allowed to keep them. Now, add a few sweet treats on top of that, and Nerd Squad is a big hit, especially with six-year-old Zayne Lampley, whose favorite book is:
"If You Give A Moose A Muffin," said Lampley.
The first grader is one of the youngest members of the squad.
"I feel like I belong, and I feel like I should learn more and learn more about books," said Lampley.
Nine-year-old Demetrius Davis agrees.
"I read, and then I get a little imagination in my mind," said Davis.
A little imagination goes a long way.
"I hope they just develop a love for reading. I hope they feel loved and that they see there is someone in the community that they may not have known or they don't really see every day that really just wanted to be here with them and comes in and checks on them," said Hicks.
This is the perfect ending to anyone's story. Nerds included.
Hicks wants to expand the Nerd Squad into more after-school programs, as well as possibly create a summer reading program.
Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved