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Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Rich Hill to Read to Children at Politi Elementary School in Read to a Child’s Lunchtime Reading Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Read to a Child and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Partner to Highlight the Importance of Improving Children’s Literacy Skills in Closing the Achievement Gap

 Los Angeles, CA, August 25, 2016 – National non-profit literacy and mentoring organization Read to a Child® and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation today announced that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill will visit the Leo Politi Elementary School in Los Angeles Friday, August 26 and read aloud to children in Read to a Child’s Lunchtime Reading Program. The event, which begins at 11:30am, highlights Read to a Child’s partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation in improving children’s literacy skills among those most at-risk in the community while underscoring how partnerships with area corporations create better opportunities for underserved children.  Photos from tomorrow’s event will be accessible via the link at the end of this release.

Leo Politi is one of seven public elementary schools in greater Los Angeles where Read to a Child operates its Lunchtime Reading Program. Across the US, Read to a Child manages a force of 1,500 adult volunteers from more than 100 corporations who visit urban elementary schools once a week and read aloud one-on-one to children during lunch.  This time spent with a caring adult ignites a love of reading in struggling children, while providing students with literacy skills and self-confidence to succeed in school and in life.

“I applaud Read to a Child and its innovative model of utilizing adult volunteers from area corporations to act as reading mentors in public schools,” said Nichol Whiteman Executive Director of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.  “The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation supports many initiatives to improve the lives of those most underserved in the community and programs to improve literacy skills are a significant focus of ours.  By bringing Dodgers players into the classroom as reading mentors and by utilizing athletes as positive role models, we are highlighting the importance of improving literacy skills to underserved children.”

“Alarmingly, 80% of 4th graders from low-income families in the United States are not proficient readers and 2/3rds of these students will end up on welfare or in jail,” said Read to a Child CEO, Paul Lamoureux.  “The Dodgers Foundation is well aware of this literacy crisis and we are deeply appreciative of its commitment to improving literacy skills and to closing the achievement gap.  We are thankful to the Dodgers organization for raising awareness of the literacy crisis and to the Dodgers Foundation for their financial support, both of which are critical in enabling Read to a Child to grow to serve the hundreds of struggling children that remain on our waiting lists across the region.”

At Friday’s event, students from the Politi Elementary will present Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill with a personal copy of Dr. Seuss’s newly released book ‘What Pet Should I Get?,’ signed by the children in the Lunchtime Reading Program. Mr. Hill will then read this book aloud to the students. Because the book ends without Dr. Seuss revealing what specific pet is taken home from the pet store, Mr. Hill will likely elicit strong opinions from all of the students about what pet they think should have been chosen by the book’s characters.

Volunteer reading mentors from Read to a Child corporate partners Capital Group, Deloitte, MEC Global and Winston & Strawn will also be on hand for Friday’s event to cheer on their favorite new Dodger pitcher (Rich Hill joined the Dodgers on August 1st) and their reading “mentees.”  These volunteers typically dedicate one lunch hour per week during the school year to mentor a child struggling with reading.  This beneficial relationship often lasts for four years.

“I deeply value our partnership with Read to a Child because I see the results of the dedicated mentors who come each week to read with our students,” said Luis Ochoa, Leo Politi Elementary School Principal.  “In addition to the mentoring relationships that develop, I see our students learning to love books.  I believe strongly that developing a love of reading gives children an important tool to ensure that they are lifelong learners.  Our partnership with Read to a Child is an important part of helping our students become lifelong readers and lifelong learners.”   

About Read to a Child:

 Read to a Child, www.readtoachild.org, is a national nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization that inspires caring adults to read aloud to at-risk children to create better opportunities for the child’s future. Research shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for eventual success in reading and, thus, likelihood for success in school, career and life.  When an adult reads aloud to a child, both parties have a joyful, rewarding experience that instills a love of reading, improves literacy skills and enhances a child’s self-confidence. Read to a Child’s Lunchtime Reading Program utilizes 1,500 volunteers from more than 100 socially-minded organizations who read aloud to nearly 1,200 at-risk elementary school students in greater Boston, Connecticut, Detroit, Los Angeles and Miami.  

About the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

LADF is the official team charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Its primary focus is to support cornerstone programs in Sports + Recreation, Education + Literacy and Health + Wellness benefitting children and families in need throughout the greater Los Angeles region. By leveraging strategic partnerships, the mission is to harness the power of the Dodger brand and the passion our fans have for Los Angeles into a vehicle for positive change in under-served communities. Visit the Dodgers Foundation online at www.dodgers.com/ladf, follow them on Twitter @DodgersFdn, Instagram @dodgersfoundation and like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LosAngelesDodgersFoundation/. For media information, visit www.dodgerspressbox.com.

Images from Friday’s event can be downloaded here

Media contact:
Alex Fey
Los Angeles Director
Read to a Child
c: 714-398-9246
w: 310-208-5310
alex.fey@readtoachild.org