New York, October 18, 2004- In conjunction with the NBA’s annual Read to Achieve Week, DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, and Disney Publishing Worldwide have agreed to donate more than 160,000 books to NBA teams, which will then be distributed to schools and youth organizations throughout the season.
The tip-off event of the program and the culmination of Read to Achieve Week will be a Basketball & Books Clinic at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, October 26, when 100 children from the Magic Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program will be treated to a reading timeout with Orlando Magic stars Grant Hill and Steve Francis along with Mickey Mouse. Afterwards, they will break into groups and the players will conduct basketball clinics with drills to improve such skills as dribbling, passing and shooting.
“As part of our DisneyHand Reading Together program which encourages adults and children to read together in engaging and effective ways, we have teamed up with the NBA to further reach underserved children with books,” said Jody Dreyer, senior vice president, Disney Worldwide Outreach. “We are pleased to work with an organization that shares our belief in the value of reading.”
“The new relationship between Disney and the NBA will put books in the hands of thousands of children across the country who do not normally have access to such needed resources,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA vice president of Community Relations.
Children participating in the Read to Achieve program will receive books, including: Crispin: The Cross of Lead-By Avi, The Million Dollar Strike-By Dan Gutman, Praying at the Sweetwater Motel-By April Young Fritz, Liberty’s Journey-By Kelly DiPucchio-Illustrated by Richard Egielski, and Picture My World: Nature-By Helen Perelman.
Following is a list of some of the Read to Achieve Week events for October 18-22:
Detroit – The World Champion Pistons along with Liberty’s Journey Author Kelly DiPucchio will host a reading timeout on Thursday, October 21, at 1:30 p.m. at The Palace of Auburn Hills. DiPucchio will be reading to an anticipated 350 kids.
Atlanta – The Hawks will host 15,000 kids for a pre-season game against the Memphis Grizzlies, which will feature reading-related activities and programs.
Charlotte - The Bobcats will hold a book drive at the Harris YMCA and host a Cool School field trip for more than 14,000 kids who were rewarded with attendance to the Bobcats preseason game against Miami on October 26 at Charlotte Coliseum.
Cleveland - The Cavaliers will open their second Reading and Learning Center in Akron, OH.
Houston - The Rockets will host a reading timeout at the Toyota Center reading different versions of Cinderella in Chinese, Spanish and African.
Indiana - The Pacers will hold a backpack drive where fans are asked to bring backpacks full of school supplies for underprivileged children.
Los Angeles - The Lakers will host a reading timeout with Kobe Bryant and Rudy Tomjonovich.
Utah - The Jazz will host a reading timeout at the Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake City.
About NBA Read to Achieve
Reaching an estimated 50 million children a year, the NBA Read to Achieve program is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports. Efforts of the program include the donation of more than a million books and magazines through a variety of reading events and incentive programs, as well as the development of essay contests and on-line programs. In an effort to provide greater access to books and technology, the NBA and its teams, along with national companies such as RIF®, Disney and Dell® have also created more than 90 Reading and Learning Centers and more than 80 Reading Corners throughout North America, South America and in South Africa. In addition to being supported by all NBA, WNBA and NBDL teams, Read to Achieve is supported by the NBA's officials, coaches, parents and wives of players organizations, and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.
DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in the areas of compassion, learning, the arts and the environment. For more information, please visit www.DisneyHand.com
About Disney Publishing Worldwide
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the largest children’s publisher in the world, with 274 children’s magazines and 120 million children’s books sold each year. DPW's children's books are published through licensing relationships as well as Hyperion Books for Children, launched in 1991 with the mission of creating a home for authors and illustrators that fosters creativity, and it imprints Jump at the Sun, celebrating the African American experience and culture; Michael di Capua Books, an imprint published by the famed Michael di Capua; and Volo, which concentrates on original paperback publishing geared to children, as well as single titles and series that speak directly to the teen market ages 12 and up. In addition, Disney Press publishes a creative collection of Disney classics and new Disney favorites and Disney Editions presents books for Disney fans of all ages that are ideal for family interaction.
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