Patriots Star Malcolm Mitchell Touts Youth Literacy During Haverhill ‘Reading Rally’

New England Patriots star Malcolm Mitchell reads to Haverhill students from his book "The Magician's Hat" during a Tuesday "reading rally" at the YMCA. (WHAV News photograph)

New England Patriots star Malcolm Mitchell reads to Haverhill students from his book “The Magician’s Hat” during a Monday “reading rally” at the YMCA. (WHAV News photograph)

With just days to go before school’s out for the summer, New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell appeared before a crowd of nearly 300 Monday at Haverhill’s YMCA to stress that there’s no off-season when it comes to literacy.

Hosting a “Reading Rally” complete with a magic show, Mitchell hyped up the crowd of children, parents and local leaders before reading from his self-published book, “The Magician’s Hat.”

As youth in Patriots jerseys looked on, Mitchell made students “pinky-promise” to keep up their reading—even while school’s out.

Summer reading is a must for students to avoid the dreaded “summer slide” that often happens when school’s out, Mitchell told WHAV.

“I view reading as exercise for the brain, so similar to football, if I want to be conditioned to run longer, I have to run. If I want to be smarter, I have to read. If you don’t train, you get unconditioned,” Mitchell said. “The same thing happens with your brain if you get lazy and decide not to read. It’s important kids keep reading over the summer to keep up that process of growing.”

Following his book tour, Mitchell told WHAV he plans to host a virtual “Read Camp” through his Share the Magic Foundation, where students can interact with him as they share their summer reading progress.

Monday’s visit was made possible through sponsors including Pentucket Bank and Covanta, among others. In addition to Mitchell’s visit, the afternoon of activities included pizza and ice cream along with a reading hosted by Kelsie Hinds of the Haverhill-based “Stories Podcast.”