CARLYLE - Justin Herdman-Reed is a middle linebacker with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. As part of the Rider Reading Program, he shared stories with appreciative students at the Carlyle Elementary School last week.
The Rider Reading Program is a foundation community initiative that encourages students to read together and at the same time, provides them with an opportunity to meet some of the players. Through building an association between their brand and daily reading, the aim is to have kids enjoy and maintain positive feelings towards reading.
“I have really enjoyed my week,” said Herdman-Reed. “I have travelled to Moosomin, Fort Qu’Appelle, and now here in Carlyle. I started reading to the kindergarten class and finished the day with the Grade 5s. I did seven 30-minute reading sessions. The kids had a blast and so did I.”
Later that afternoon, Herdman-Reed had a meet and greet session at the local A & W, who often partners with the Rider Foundation and its reading programs.
“There are only a handful of players that live in Regina during the off-season,” he said. “I am happy to be able to give something back to the local communities in our province. I signed a lot of jerseys and photographs today and a lot of fans came dressed in their Rider green.”
The past season was a disappointing year for the Riders as they finished with a losing record and missed the playoffs. “We have a lot of new faces and have made a lot of changes. We have lots to learn from last year. I am confident that we will be better,” Herdman-Reed said.
Herdman-Reed was born in Winnipeg and earned a bachelor of science degree from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. The 28-year-old was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts and played there for three seasons. He has spent the past two seasons with the Riders.