SLOCOMB, Ala. (WDHN) — Slocomb Elementary students were delighted to receive a special visit from a former redtop and current New York Yankees Relief Pitcher Clay Holmes.

Holmes committed a little time at the beginning of his offseason to read to students as they kicked off their school-wide reading of Charlotte’s Web.

“The first chapter here in Charlottes Web talks about injustice and work ethic and that’s something I want to stress what it means to develop character and treating people no matter where they come from their shape size or color,” Holmes said.

Reading is an instrumental part of learning that starts at the elementary level and a skill that lasts a lifetime. With the Alabama state literacy law going into effect in 2022, elementary students will be tested three times a year to make sure they are reading on grade level.

After a pandemic-filled year, it’s been difficult for school administrators to work with students on their reading levels, but the school system is offering reading intervention programs.

“Having somebody like clay holmes coming in at this time is very timely because we need everything we can to get kids to read books whether it’s about sports, hobbies or whatever it’s very vital for their success,” Geneva County Schools Superintendent Becky Birdsong said.

Although Holmes cherishes being on the mound in Yankee Stadium, his love remains in Slocomb as he will always make himself available to give back to the children.