OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook has opened up a new reading room at a local elementary school.
On Thursday morning, Westbrook opened a Russell’s Reading Room at Thelma R. Parks Elementary School.
After announcing 29 reading rooms in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles, Westbrook opened his 30th Russell’s Reading Room and also announced the opening of nine additional new reading rooms in Oklahoma.
"I think it's very, very important to be able to learn about the history, learn about other things in the world as well and I think through books and education is a great, great tool to be able to do that," he said. "Just trying to continue to expand, obviously here in Oklahoma City and hopefully other places as well."
Through the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation, in partnership with Scholastic, each school that receives a room also gets a school-wide book fair.
Also, each student who went in during spring break for the occasion went home with a free book and had a chance to meet Parks herself.
"It means a lot to me," she said. "I can't even express. It just brings joy to my heart because he's here and they like it, the kids like it."
The 94-year-old taught for over 50 years in Oklahoma City and also served on the school board for many years.
"Preparation is the key to success," Parks said. "Those little folks on that carpet, they're going to be our leaders."
"Just to be here in her presence, the different things she's done for not just the school but for Oklahoma City," Westbrook said.
The Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation has successfully opened 26 reading rooms in Oklahoma City and 13 in Los Angeles. Each room is filled with 1,200 books.