CHICAGO — The efforts of a group of athletes from around the Chicago area have made a big impact on an elementary school in Chicago.

In October, high school student-athletes collected thousands of children’s books that have been donated to Dulles Elementary School in Englewood. They didn’t have a school library before the last few months, but thanks to the donations, they now have changed that.

After collecting the books, the same student-athletes went to Dulles and built 24 mini-classrooms on a Sunday morning, providing additional resources for the students as they continue their education.

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On Thursday, which is National Read Across America Day, a few of these students made their way to the school to read to 12 different classrooms at Dulles to students at a number of different grade levels.

Along with reading, they also surprised four students with special tickets, two classrooms with pizza parties, and honored two teachers who excelled in the “Go For The Goal” reading program.

The efforts to increase reading with book donations along with the mini-libraries have already paid off for the Dulles Elementary School.

So far, a kindergarten class at the school has read 6,280 extra minutes in the past two months while a fourth-grade class has read 8,700 extra minutes in the same time frame.