GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The idea of Kids Poetry Basketball came to Clement Mallory years ago. The poet wanted to make learning to read fun for kids, so he decided to combine two of his passions, poetry and basketball.

What You Need To Know

  • Kids Poetry and Basketball is a nonprofit organization

  • The founder Clement Mallory was illiterate until 17

  • The organization has helped kids in Guilford County for 10 years

The Brooklyn, New York native didn't learn to read until the age of 17, and he didn't want the same for the children in Guilford County.

Mallory founded Kids Poetry and Basketball in 2003.

He soon started to work with Guilford County Schools and his dream became a reality.

In March, when the coronavirus shut down many school systems, Mallory had to find a way to reach those kids. He started using Zoom sessions to have fun with the children.

The nonprofit organization focuses on kids ages 4-13.

Mallory has used donations from sponsors for kids to purchase indoor basketball rims so they can still hold their online sessions.

While many kids are stuck at home, the poet has still been able to go to summer camps and hold events with children, but most of the interaction is done online.

The pandemic inspired Mallory to write poems, and he plans to release a book shortly.

The inspiration of the once illiterate Mallory is something that many could use, and he enjoys teaching that to kids through his passions of poetry and basketball.