Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (left) hands out books to Emerson Elementary School students (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Clayton Kershaw recently visited Emerson Elementary School of Compton as part of the L.A. Dodgers Foundation’s (LADF) L.A. Reads program.

This year marks the seventh-year anniversary of L.A. Reads. The program was created to promote literacy and reading to youth. Other members of the Dodgers club who hosted storytimes with youth at schools and libraries were catcher Will Smith and broadcaster Kirsten Watson.

Kershaw brought along his wife Ellen and two of his four children to read the book “Bigger Than Me” by Ann Higginbottom. The book is based on the Kershaw family; the message is the importance of finding purpose and how that can impact the world.

“It’s a ton of fun to get to come and read this book “Bigger Than Me” to a group of kiddos that were so well behaved and such a happy group,” Kershaw said. “Getting to come down here to Emerson Elementary and read to them and it’s just a blast, we had a great time.”

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Emerson Elementary School principal Lakisha Moore poses with the book “Bigger Than Me” by Ann Higginbottom (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Along with a book reading, Kershaw hosted a Q&A session with the students. After the reading, the Kershaw family gave students copies of the book.

“Today was an exciting day for Compton. Today was an exciting day for Emerson Elementary School. Our students were elated to be here with the Kershaw family,” said Emerson principal Lakisha Moore. “The partnership is about literacy and that’s what we exude here at Emerson Elementary.”

This year, LADF was celebrating its “10 Years Reimagined” and has been hosting storytimes throughout Los Angeles County.

“Today is a really special day with us at the Dodgers Foundation partnering with the Kershaw family,” said LADF chief program officer Manny Aceves. “We recognize that education is such an important space and topic today and we really want to think through how are we supporting our youth.”

Kershaw understands how the game of baseball has made him more than an athlete. His contributions to Los Angeles make him a person of influence, especially to the next generation.

“Baseball is such a wonderful gift that I’ve been fortunate enough to get to play for a long time now,” Kershaw said. “With that, you have such a great platform to be able to impact a lot of different people and that’s what the book is about.”