Former Buffalo Bills LB Mark Maddox encourages readers with book donation at W-C

Former Bill Mark Maddox encourages readers with book donation at Wayland-Cohocton

By Melonie Coley
Special to The Spectator
Wayland-Cohocton students show off the books they received from former Buffalo Bills linebacker Mark Maddox, pictured on the screen delivering a video message to the class.

WAYLAND — Anyone who is a Buffalo Bills football fan knows what the Bills Mafia is all about.

Chances are, even if you aren’t, you are familiar with the superfans. This informal organization has become a conduit for good works in the community. Recently, former Bills player Mark Maddox issued an offer through the Bills Mafia Nation Facebook page and Help 1 Foundation to help fulfill the wish list of young bookworms — kids who love to read and would love to have some literature of their very own. 

Two Wayland-Cohocton teachers, superfans in their own rights, quickly responded and their students are the beneficiaries of their quick response. Shelby Webster, a sixth grade ELA teacher, was able to procure books for her students. Each student received two books: Puppies, Dogs and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia. The students also received a special recorded message from Maddox with the delivery of their books. 

A Wayland-Cohocton student shows off the books received from former Buffalo Bills linebacker Mark Maddox

“The kids are excited to have the new books, but also to hear the personal message from Maddox encouraging them to ‘exercise' their minds and keep their brains healthy,” said Mrs. Webster. “Kids listen to and get excited when notable personalities invest in them. Anything we can do to encourage reading and their growth is a good thing!” 

Sixth grade social studies teacher Molly VanDelinder also responded to the same post and thought of three students in particular who always have their noses in books. 

A Wayland-Cohocton student shows off the books received from former Buffalo Bills linebacker Mark Maddox.

“I chatted with them about their book wishlists and while two knew exactly what they would like, and helped the third make her decision based on the fantasy reading material she brings to class. Each student was given a lovely stack of books,” said Mrs. VanDelinder.

She too was able to chat directly with Maddox who was excited at helping the kids fill their bookshelves.

“Encouraging students with an innate interest in reading is so important," she said. "We are lucky that the Help 1 foundation and Mark Maddox care so much about improving the lives of young voracious readers!”