Reading with the Pros

Wade Smith Foundation: Reading with the ProsThe Wade Smith Foundation’s Reading with the Pros Literacy Tour (RWTP) promotes and supports childhood literacy and education through in-person celebrity book readings and classroom visits. As of April 2016, over 100 current/former NFL, NBA and WNBA players and collegiate athletes have joined Wade at nearly 50 RWTP reading events, including over 30 public libraries and elementary schools throughout Houston and Dallas, Texas since the program began in April 2012.

These hugely successful reading events have provided dozens of professional athletes, celebrities, entertainment/radio personalities, civic leaders, civil servants and entrepreneurs the opportunity to read for an hour to over 30,000 elementary school students and public library visitors so far. A ‘love for books’, as well as a strong emphasis on education, development of personal character and commitment to community service, are all themes that the ‘Pros’ use to capture the attention of the children they encounter through RWTP.

Kennedy Elementary Reading with the Pros Event

High School Sports Zone – RWTP Coverage

“Reading with the Pros” participants and supporters include the following:

  • Adrian Jones (NFL)
  • Akin Ayodele (NFL)
  • Andrew Gardner (NFL)
  • Antoine Caldwell (NFL)
  • Antonio Smith (NFL)
  • Arian Foster (NFL)
  • Barry Richardson (NFL)
  • Ben Jones (NFL)
  • Ben Tate (NFL)
  • Branden Albert (NFL)
  • Brandon Brooks (NFL)
  • Brandon Marshall (NFL)
  • Bun B (Rapper)
  • Cat Daddy (K104 Radio Personality)
  • Chameka Scott (WNBA)
  • Chantelle Anderson (WNBA)
  • Chester Pitts (NFL)
  • Chris Myers (NFL)
  • Chris White (NFL)
  • Coco Dominguez (Radio/TV Personality)
  • Cody White (NFL)
  • Dante Wesley (NFL)

  • David Hunter (NFL)
  • Delano Johnson (NFL)
  • Derek Newton (NFL)
  • Dexter Ford (NFL)
  • DJ Reader (NFL)
  • Duane Brown (NFL)
  • Earl Mitchell (NFL)
  • Edwin Harrison (CFL)
  • Franklin Okam (NFL)
  • Herb Taylor (NFL)
  • Isaiah Stanback (NFL)
  • Jon Weeks (NFL)
  • Kami Craig (Olympic Gold Medalist)
  • Keith Browner (NFL)
  • Keyaron Fox (NFL)
  • Lady Jade (K104 Radio Personality)
  • Lawrence Vickers (NFL)
  • Marshall Newhouse (NFL)
  • Maria Ho (Professional Poker Player)
  • Matt Schaub (NFL)
  • Mia Gradney (News Anchor/TV Personality)

  • Nic Harris (NFL)
  • Owen Daniels (NFL)
  • Patrick Crayton (NFL)
  • Paul Wall (Rapper)
  • Quintin Demps (NFL)
  • Ro Parrish
  • Ryan Harris (NFL)
  • Sam Jones “Flash Gordon” (Actor)
  • Shaun Cody (NFL)
  • Shaun Smith (NFL)
  • Shelly Smith (NFL)
  • Sherrick McMannis (NFL)
  • Stacey Smith (USA Track & Field)
  • Steve Slaton (NFL)
  • Sunny Harris (NFL)
  • The Chile (97.9 The Box Radio Personality)
  • TJ Yates (NFL)
  • Torri Williams (NFL)
  • Trae Tha Truth (Rapper)
  • Trent Shelton (NFL)
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo (NFL)

Read All The Wade Contest

In the fall of 2015, Wade initiated his very first Read All The Wade contest. In an effort to encourage reading among elementary school students, the contest challenged all grade levels at Wallace Elementary (Dallas) to read twice as many books as Wade’s height in inches, which equates to 152 books read per classroom. The winning grade and classroom won a special appearance and party from Wade during his 2016 charity weekend, known as Wade’s Weekend.  In January 2017, WSF partnered with Half Price Books to roll out Read All The Wade contest in the Houston area as part of the festivities leading up to Super Bowl LI.  The goal was to have students in the schools read a collective 25,000 books by the end of the competition – 6,000 donated by Half Price Books. The winning school, Kennedy Elementary (Houston), enjoyed a Reading with the Pros event at their campus with appearances from NFL veterans Chris Myers (Houston Texans), Dante Wesley (Carolina Panthers), rapper Bun B, professional poker player Maria Ho, Olympic gold medalist Kami Craig and WNBA veterans Chantelle Anderson and Chameka Scott.

WSF Reading Corners

In 2016, we established our first WSF Reading Corner at the Wallace Elementary library.  Complete with a comfortable arm chair, rug and a life-sized cutout of Wade scoring the first touchdown made by an offensive lineman in Texans history, WSF Reading Corners are available to students who want to read a book or two while in the library.  Through generous donations from Half Price Books, WSF has been able to donate thousands of books in the Dallas and Houston area.

Smitty's Scholars - Scholarship Program

Our founder Wade Smith and members of the WSF Board of Directors were on-hand to present scholarships at the 7th Annual PCA-Houston Scholarship & Awards Banquet. Congrats to the Houston Area Scholarship Recipients for 2016-17 school year!

(Pictured L-R)  Analilia Rojas, Joshua Hamilton, Kaia Daniel, Kennedy Jones, Lillian Bean  (the names go under the picture)

2016 Scholarship Recipients

In our ongoing partnership with the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, in 2016, we awarded scholarships to three Lake Highlands High School (Dallas, Texas) seniors.  These students were announced on Friday, May 20th at the ECLH Scholarship Breakfast at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church.  Please join us in congratulating this year’s Smitty’s Scholars and wish them the best of luck as they move forward to the next step in their education!

  • Nahiyan Khan
  • Berket Ghebermicael
  • Sui (Mercy) Cer


A big WSF congratulations to our 2015-2016 Smitty’s Scholars scholarship recipients!

  • Halle Brazda (The Kincaid School)
  • Kameron Hypolite (Glenda Dawson High School)
  • Jaelyn Richard Harris (Dekaney High School)
  • Kelsey Slattery (Spring Branch Memorial High School)
  • Alice Chambers (St. John’s School)

PCA_circle_web-2In partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), we have selected these high school seniors in the Houston area who best exemplify PCA’s model of the Triple-Impact Competitor: 

Personal Mastery — Making oneself better
Leadership — Making one’s teammates better
Honoring the Game — Making the game better

PCA-Houston partners with almost 300 schools and youth sports organizations. Through their Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship program, they have proudly awarded nearly $144,000 in scholarships to Houston-area students in the past five years.  WSF is excited to partner with such a dedicated organization as we assist the youth of Houston with the pursuit of their educational and life goals.

2015 Scholarship Recipients

In partnership with the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, we awarded $10,000 in scholarships to five Lake Highlands High School (Dallas, Texas) seniors.  These students were announced on Friday, May 15th at the ECLH Scholarship Breakfast at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church.  Please join us in congratulating this year’s Smitty’s Scholars and wish them the best of luck as they move forward to the next step in their education!

  • Kayla Banks $1,250
  • Mary Estrera $2,500
  • Diana Monyancha $1,250
  • Katie Norris $2,500
  • Abighail Seghid $2,500


2014 Scholarship Recipients

Through the Wade Smith Foundation Smitty’s Scholars Scholarship program, we are blessed to be able to award scholarships to outstanding seniors from the Houston Independent School District and Lake Highlands High School (Dallas, Texas). These deserving students have proven themselves to be dedicated leaders, not only to their schoolwork but to their community as well. Below is a list of our 2014 Smitty’s Scholars scholarship recipients.

Houston ISD:

  • Derek Mayon (Lamar High School) – $2,500
  • Oumayma El Hamzaoui (Waltrip High School) – $2,500
  • Fryda Gonzalez (Lamar High School) – $1,000
  • Shahnaz Azeez (Barbara Jordan High School) – $1,000
  • Yesenia Mondragon (Waltrip High School) – $1,000
  • Jacqueline Roman (Lamar High School) – $1,000
  • Genesis Larin (Lamar High School) – $1,000

Lake Highlands High School:

  • Lauren West – $2,500
  • Kenya Mosley – $2,500
  • Morgan Dishman – $1,000
  • Kelly Henry – $1,000
  • Abby Harris – $1,000
  • Katherine Sutton – $1,000
  • Shane Bono – $1,000


2013 Scholarship Recipients

The following seniors from the Class of 2013 (in Houston ISD and at Lake Highlands High School) have displayed both a dedication to their education and communities, and are the recipients of the #SmittysScholars Annual Scholarships toward their college expenses. We wish them well as they endeavor to go further in their education.

  • Amber Barrow (Westside High School – Houston, TX)
  • Annie Truong (Sharpstown International School – Houston, TX)
  • Deisy Rodriguez (Westside High School – Houston, TX)
  • Jasmine King (Westside High School – Houston, TX)
  • Jennifer Gutierrez (M.B. Lamar Sr. High School – Houston, TX)
  • Joahnna Langlois (Westbury High School – Houston, TX)
  • Lucina Garcia (Lake Highlands High School – Dallas, TX)
  • Akhrysta Anderson (Lake Highlands High School – Dallas, TX)
  • Laura Leigh Oualline (Lake Highlands High School – Dallas, TX)
  • Hunter Stephan (Lake Highlands High School – Dallas, TX)


YMCA Safety Around Water Summer Swim Program

The YMCA is offering water safety classes in apartment building pools to reach kids who other would not get swimming lessons. (Pioneer Press: Holly Peterson)
The YMCA is offering water safety classes in apartment building pools to reach kids who other would not get swimming lessons. (Pioneer Press: Holly Peterson)

WSF supports YMCA’s Safety Around Water initiative, which helps to address a critical safety issue among African American and Hispanic children by providing swimming lessons at low-income apartment communities in the Dallas area.  Safety Around Water is specifically designed to teach children skills that can save their lives while providing them an opportunity to feel more confident around water.

Hamilton Park Bobcats


For the past 4 years, we have been a proud sponsor of the Hamilton Park Bobcats, a youth football league for grades K-5 in the Lake Highlands community.  Football is more than a game. It’s an opportunity to teach Work Ethnic, Personal Responsibility and how to Work Successfully with others when it’s taught the right way. The HP Bobcats Organization is all about Christ, Commitment and Community.