Andy Roddick details how he is raising children with Brooklyn Decker to be kind

In 2000, former US number one tennis player Andy Roddick launched the Andy Roddick Foundation and has now taken that kindness a step further by teaming up with Literati Book Fair.MORE: Sir David Attenborough's kindness recognised in HELLO! magazine's Kind List 2022Literati gives kids from underserved communities in Austin, Texas the experience of a book fair and the opportunity to browse children’s books and take home two books to call their own, for free. Andy spoke to HELLO! about partnering wiith Literati Book FairAndy, who has two children with his wife Brooklyn Decker, told HELLO! that his favourite book as a child was Where The Wild Things Are, and that he believes "having access to great books is the first (and most crucial) step in a child becoming a successful reader".We spoke to the tennis star and entrepreneur for our 2022 Kind Issue to discuss the importance of reading for children and how he is raising her children to be kind.Why was it important for the Andy Roddick Foundation to partner with Literati in Austin?Andy: "Literati’s mission aligned with our own goals of increasing access to literacy in underserved communities, and they've supported us in the past through large book donations. They just launched Literati Book Fairs across the country, and having one at our family night felt like a wonderful opportunity to give kids the unique experience of a magical book fair." The fair brings two free books to children in underserved communities"The kids were so excited to be able to pick out their own books to take home. Having access to great books is the first (and most crucial) step in a child becoming a successful reader. Because of them, 70 kids and families at Pecan Springs Elementary received more than 120 books."Books are one of many ways kids can discover their passions outside of school. We are grateful Literati chose to partner with us in this capacity and look forward to doing more of these in the future!"Your foundation focuses on providing lower-income students with summer and afterschool programs, why is it important to you to focus on this community?Andy: "Over the past 40 years, parents in high-income communities have increased spending on their kids’ enrichment tenfold compared to parents in low-income communities."The gap is biggest outside the classroom. By age 12, it can be as much as 6,000 hours because of the loss of afterschool activities, summer camps, weekend day trips, family reading time, and preschool. Kids that have access to great opportunities don’t miss a beat when they go to school, but those who don’t are playing catch up." View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brooklyn Decker (@brooklyndecker)Andy and Brooklyn have two childrenWe could all be a little kinder, how do you make small steps in your own life to show kindness?Andy: "Being kind starts off with empathy and remembering that none of us know completely what's happening in other people's lives. Showing a little understanding and empathy is the first step."When you were on tour as a tennis player, is there a kindness you remember another player showing you, and how did you share kindness with the newer players on tour?Andy: "Honestly, it was such a gift when the older players actually acknowledged you in the locker room at 18 or 19-years-old. I tried to pay that forward a bit as I got further into my career."How are you and Brooklyn raising your children to be kinder to the world?Andy: "Brooklyn and I use social learning to teach our kids to treat others as they would like to be treated." View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brooklyn Decker (@brooklyndecker)They are raising their children to be kindWhat one piece of advice would you offer to someone who wants to do more to help the world? Andy: "Ask people what they need and offer to help. Asking for help is hard for a lot of people, so taking the first step for them can be more appreciated than you'll ever know."You were raised in Austin as a child, how did it shape who you are?Andy: "I grew up in Austin and had some great opportunities to discover my passions there, including tennis. I also saw the disparity between kids in my neighborhood and those in underserved communities, and that's one reason my Foundation's mission is so important to me personally."What was your favorite book as a child and why?Andy: "Where The Wild Things Are is my favorite children's book. It marries a child’s imagination with reality in the most beautiful way."See the full Kind List hereLike this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.