St. Joseph Mustangs pitchers Mahlyk Davis and Drake Kanallakan read to a group of children at the Rolling Hills Library in Savannah on Wednesday. The baseball players and their mascot helped the library kick off its summer reading program.

The St. Joseph Mustangs brought some of their off-the-field talents to the Rolling Hills Library in Savannah on Wednesday.

Pitchers Mahlyk Davis and Drake Kanallakan joined the team’s mascot, Rally, to read to a group of children and their parents. The players then took questions from the audience and signed autographs.

The library hosted the pitching duo as part of a kickoff campaign to its summer reading program, which starts this week.

This year’s theme for the seasonal series is “A Universe of Stories,” with a special emphasis on space.

Summer reading is considered important for children because they can lose some of their skills when they’re out of school.

“In order to be a good reader, you need to keep it up and do it all year round and not just during school years,” said Connie Rehm, Rolling Hills librarian. “It’s just like the ball players — they have to practice every day to get ready and get good at what they are doing.”

Rehm said summer reading should be about entertainment, not mundane work.

“I think it’s fun because the kids learn that there are things out there that they really like to read,” she said. “There will be things that they will be able to do for the rest of their lives and enjoy because they kept it up during summer reading.”

In addition to books, the library is offering a variety of other activities during June and July.

Next week, the library will host Mad Science of KC as well as movie nights every Friday evening.

For a detailed list of summer events, visit the library’s website at

Mark Zinn can be reached

at Follow him on Twitter: