AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A former Falcons and Braves player returns to Augusta to read to elementary students.

Thursday morning, Brian Jordan sat down with students at Lamar-Milledge Elementary School.

He read his book I Told You I Can Play, which tells the story of a young boy overcoming tough obstacles.

“If we start early with kids and motivate them, inspire them despite their circumstances, it would give them hope,” said Jordan. “Something to strive for. And, for me, if they can write their dream down early in life, I think they can be successful.”

Jordan says his inspiration to inspire young people began with his mother- a former teacher who worked with special needs students. 

After nearly two decades as a professional athlete, he felt a calling to make a difference like her.

“With all the game systems that these kids play with, they see athletes,” said Jordan. “And if they are going to listen to somebody, they are going to listen to those athletes that they want to be like.”

In 1998, Jordan founded The Brian Jordan Foundation to help children reach their full potential. 

Jordan tells us his work also extends beyond writing. 

“It’s giving scholarships,” said Jordan. “To those underprivileged, those kids who really strive for the best, but don’t have the resources to go to that next level in college.”

National literacy reports say that 1 in 4 children grow up without learning how to read.

Jordan says he’s determined to change that.

“… if I start with the younger kids, we can make that impact and these guys and girls can be very successful also,” said Jordan.” 

Jordan tells us his work at Lamar-Milledge is just beginning- he’ll be back three more times this school year to encourage the students to stay on track with their reading.

“When the kids come up to me and hug me afterwards…that means so much to me,” said Jordan. “Sometimes it just takes a hug.”