Book Partner Penguin Random House donates 5,000 books to kick off campaign
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) today announced the formation of LA Reads, a joint initiative to help address the literacy crisis in Los Angeles by getting children excited about reading. The campaign will launch this Saturday, April 1 at 11:00 a.m. with a brief invitation-only program at the Los Angeles Central Library, located at 630 W. 5th Street, which will include Rich Hill, Maggie and Andre Ethier and Heather and Yasmani Grandal reading to 80 3rd and 4th grade students from local schools and non-profits. Dodger broadcaster Jorge Jarrín will emcee the program, which will also feature Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis and representatives from Program Partner, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, and Book Partner, Penguin Random House.
Following the scheduled program and reading, a public event will be held starting at noon at the Library’s second-floor rotunda, where families will receive free Penguin Random House books for their children, take photos with Dodger Alumni Billy Ashley, Dennis Powell and Al Ferrara and the Dodger character, and participate in arts and crafts activities.
“Getting children excited about reading during the summer baseball season and throughout the year is at the heart of our literacy work,” said Nichol Whiteman, Executive Director of LADF and Naomi Rodriguez, Dodger Vice President, Community Relations and External Affairs. “With LA Reads, we hope to give children the tools and incentives to develop a lifelong love of reading.”
“Our philosophy of impacting lives from seed to cup is steeped in everything we do. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has donated significantly to schools to help make the future a little brighter for students,” said Adam Tabachnikoff, Senior Vice President, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Global Brand Strategy. “Encouraging young people to read is an essential seed for a positive future and we are thrilled to be a part of the LA Reads launch event.”
“We are proud to partner with the Dodgers and LADF in support of their LA Reads program. We believe that books and baseball are a perfect fit. In the same way that team sports help children learn to work and play together, books bring together young readers everywhere, expanding their worlds and opening their hearts and minds,” said Claire von Schilling, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, Penguin Random House. “We look forward to bringing together Penguin Random House books and Dodger baseball, as we work with the Dodgers’ Foundation, the team and their fans throughout this 2017 season.”
Throughout this season Dodger players, coaches, wives, executives and alumni will be reading to children at local libraries, schools and non-profit program sites. The Dodgers “Reading Champions” challenge, will take place from April to August, further motivating 1st-8th graders to read. Students who read more than 30 minutes per day will be rewarded with incentives to include monthly opportunities to be on field at Dodger Stadium. Students and families can learn more about the program at Dodgers.com/LAReads.
Literacy has always been of significant importance to both the Dodgers and LADF. Partnerships with Read Across America and various activations with LA County schools, to include the Dodger Community Schools, underscore this commitment. In the last three years alone, LADF has invested over $750,000 in nonprofit organizations focused on literacy programs, to include the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, City Year LA, Read to a Child, Read Lead, Reading Partners, Power My Learning, Young Storytellers and Urban Compass.