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Tuesday April 8, 2014 4:13 pm

2014 WWE WrestleMania Reading Challenge wrap-up

Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Features, Home Entertainment

WrestleMania Reading Challenge WWE Stephanie McMahon, AJ, Cody rhodes

Last week, WWE Superstars and Divas visited Langston Hughes Academy Elementary school in New Orleans, LA for the annual WrestleMania Reading Challenge event in conjunction with The Pearson Foundation and the Young Adult Library Services Association. Children in the school gathered in the gymnasium, where they were able to meet AJ Lee, Cody Rhodes, and Stephanie McMahon after learning about the We Give Books ReadMobile and how it travels the country promoting literacy. The Superstars took turns reading a book called Otis by Loren Long, about a little tractor who could.

After the reading, the three gave out books and masks of the characters, and had the kids share ideas of what makes a good friend. In a funny moment, Stephanie said that a good friend listens. AJ then answered said that a good friend is kind. When it was Cody's turn, he showed that he wrote down "listens", and then when Steph said it, he then wrote down "kindness", which was stolen by AJ before he had a chance to share his answer.

WrestleMania Reading Challenge Otis

The kids then lined up by class, and were able to get their books autographed by the three, along with a WrestleMania Reading Challenge "championship belt." They got to talk with each briefly, and many kids took the opportunity to grab AJ's Divas championship belt and pose with it.

All three WWE stars were great, with AJ letting the kids pose with her Divas Championship belt, and Cody not taking himself too seriously, allowing himself to get loud and silly with the kids, which they loved. However, it should be noted that Stephanie McMahon in particular was amazing with these kids, and you could tell that the event really touched her heart, not from a corporate level, but on a personal one. Maybe it's because she is a mother of three, but she took the time to smile at each child, ask each one their name so she could write it in the books, signed her autograph, and asked each who their favorite Superstar or Diva was. Even the kids who were shy, embarrassed, or misbehaving were greeted with genuine kindness by Steph, and she told each something quick and personal (how beautiful their name was, or how her husband had the same name as one in real life, or that she is good in real life and just bad on TV.) She was a true class act all the way.

Stephanie McMahon autographs books

One thing that surprised me when she was talking with the kids were the names most kids gave as their favorites. John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes (who was sitting right there), and Kane were the bulk of the answers--and I didn't hear one answer Daniel Bryan!

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