Champion Reads® is a complete reading curriculum that uses sport to teach young students about social justice. It includes seven Champion Citizen® chapter books, lesson plans, special events, guest speakers, Zoom presentations, and educational activities. In-person and Zoom presentations can be adapted for classrooms, community centers, libraries, parks and rec and more. The program is endorsed by the Hamilton County Sports Authority and the Institute for Sport and Social Justice. More than 5000 students K-6 and adult education classes have participated in Champion Reads® programs. More than 30,000 Champion Citizen® books have been distributed throughout the United States.

Champion Citizen® books are the seven chapter books about athletes who overcame segregation, gender equality, physical disabilities, and intellectual  disabilities; became champions in their sport and devoted their lives to making the world just and fair for all.


Arthur Ashe
Professional tennis player
Ashe is the first and only black man to be the men’s singles champion of the US Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open and to be ranked #1 in the world. He battled segregation all over the world. He authored Days of Grace, his autobiography and A Hard Road to Glory, a history of black athletes. He is one of the world’s greatest humanitarians.


James Blake
Professional tennis player
Blake broke his neck and came back to be one of the top five men tennis players in world. After his retirement from professional tennis he was mistakenly arrested in front of a New York hotel while waiting for a bus to take him to the US Open to perform his responsibilities as director of the USTA Foundation. He wrote Ways of Grace, a book about how sports can bring us together.


Gale Sayers
Professional football player
First player to score six touchdowns in one game. First black player in NFL to have a white roommate–Brian Piccolo. The award-winning movie Brian’s Song depicts this poignant friendship.



George Taliaferro
Professional football player
First black man drafted into NFL. Member of the Indiana University 1945 first and only undefeated football team. He was the key to integrating the Indiana University and the city of Bloomington, Indiana.



Billie Jean King
Professional tennis player
King was the #1 women’s tennis player in the world  for thirteen years. She fought for equal opportunities for women and girls in sports and as well as other parts of society. She was one of the main forces behind the passage of Title XI, a founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association–all organizations providing equality for women and girls.


Jean Driscoll
Wheelchair marathon racer
Driscoll was the first athlete to win the Boston Marathon eight times, a  Paralympic gold medalist, and a US Olympic Hall of Fame. inductee.  Driscoll founded a wheelchair track team in Ghana and mentored some of its members to the Paralympic Games. She has raised millions of dollars for facilities and programs dedicated to people with physical disabilities.


Sam McNew
Gold Medal Special Olympian
McNew is a former Special Olympic gold medal power lifter from Indiana who helped found Sam’s Wish, a non-profit for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.  Through Sam’s Wish, Sam and his sister Heather McNew Stephenson coordinate a year round Kindness Camp for young children. Sam has never let Down Syndrome foil his dreams or stop his continual caring for others.


Individual books and teacher guides are $8 each. A set of all seven books is $40. Presentations and consulting are free to moderate costs.

Helen Moser Petersen is the founder of Hamilton County Community Tennis Association and the creator of Champion Reads®. Petersen is a licensed Indiana teacher having taught English and speech on the junior and senior high school levels. She is a 40 plus year tennis volunteer who has received several national recognitions for her development of educational programs through tennis. She has taught Champion Reads® to thousands of students across the United States.

The original research and first drafts of all the Champion Citizen® books were done by Indiana high school students under the supervision of certified teachers.

Students: Kim Ainza (Guerin), Alyson Bundy (Carmel), Susie Chen (Carmel), Molly Fletchall (Carmel),  Kaitlyn Kennedy (Guerin), Grace Marchese (Carmel),  Jamie Masnyk (Noblesville), Rithvi Melanta (Carmel), Laura Moore (Westfield),  Amanda Nguyen (Carmel), Evan Parshall (Westfield), Scott Ramey (Westfield), Kelsey Sigman (Noblesville), Taylor Thurlow (Westfield), Courtney Wild (Carmel) and  Emily Winter (Zionsville)

Teachers: Carolyn Freeman, Dawn Knight, Sue Harris, Debbie Masnyk, Sharon Rosenburgh

Boner Fitness and Learning Center (inner city Indianapolis), Champaign Public Schools (IL), Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, District 214 Community Education (IL), Indianapolis Public Library, Indy Reads, Mohawk Trails Elementary (IN), Riverdale Elementary (WI), Thomas Metcalf Elementary (IL), Sheridan Middle School (IN), US Open (NY), and more. Contact info available upon request.

“HCCTA Champion Reads® is an excellent series of books about the true life struggles and successes of champion athletes.  I found the books very useful for small groups of learners that needed inspiring age appropriate material to supplement classroom curriculum.   The writing teams have provided fun, but challenging cross curriculum activities for each book.  I commend Helen Petersen and her team for inspirational stories great for group reads or just as a fun summer family activity.”
Jane Rathjen
Teacher, Poway, CA

“You write good books! Write more.”
Third grade student
Carmel, IN

“Dear Jean Driscoll,
We had Helen Petersen come read us a book about you. Your story is AMAZING! I loved learning about you. Never stop believing in yourself.”
Second grade student
Bloomington, IL

“Helen, thank you for the wonderful books. I’ve read all of them and they are really, really good! I love the facts in the books. They are very good facts. I liked the part in the George Taliaferro where he was supposed to do a chore and he forgot to do it and his dad was disappointed and his dad told him a man is only as good as his word. And George never forgot to keep a promise.”
Second grade student
Bloomington, IL

For book sales, presentations. lesson plans , educational activities or other needs contact:
Helen Moser Petersen
HCCTA Founder, Champion Reads® creator





Hamilton County Community Tennis Association/HCCTA® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Mission: Using tennis to enrich communities in fitness, education, diversity and community service.


Hamilton County Community Tennis Association