Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Staging First Ever L.A. Reads Week

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) announced an inaugural L.A. Reads Week that begins Tuesday and involves current and former players as well as ownership members for literacy events throughout the local community.

L.A. Reads is a joint initiative between the Dodgers and LADF to help address the literacy crisis in Los Angeles by getting children excited about reading. The program, now in its third year, rewards students that participate in the “Dodgers Reading Champions” challenge, which provides incentives for 1st-8th graders who read more than 30 minutes per day.

In 2019, students throughout Southern California read a combined total of 1.5 million minutes as part of the Dodgers’ program.

“Research shows that students who read more often, demonstrate higher scores in reading ability; and access to quality literary resources leads to higher achievement scores in reading proficiency exams,” Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation CEO Nichol Whiteman said.

“We’re proud of the impact LA Reads continues to make in helping to foster a life-long love of reading for millions of children.”

Dodgers vice president of external affairs and community relations Naomi Rodriguez added: “LA Reads Week demonstrates the importance of this initiative to our Dodger players, alumni and ownership, and the organization’s commitment to continue to expand the program’s reach in Southern California.”

The LADF has invested $2.4 million in the form of education grants to nonprofit organizations in the local community, with 25% going to directly tackling the literacy crisis. This includes the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, City Year L.A., Read to a Child, Read Lead, Reading Partners L.A., 826LA and Para Los Ninos.

L.A. Reads Week schedule of events and activations:

Tuesday:

Family Literacy Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific (6:30-8:30 p.m. PT)

Dennis Powell will read to kids and pass out L.A. Reads posters and bookmarks at The Aquarium of the Pacific’s inaugural Family Literacy Night, which will welcome 2,000 Long Beach students, teachers, and families living in neighborhoods deserving of additional resources and opportunity.

The event will provide fun and engaging experiences for families to learn together, including reading stations throughout the Aquarium’s galleries hosted by local authors, Aquarium supporters and community partners.

Wednesday:

L.A. Reads with Pedro Baez and The Dream Project Dominican Republic

Pedro Baez will meet with students from Gates Street Elementary School, a dual language school in Lincoln Heights. The dual language program uses a 50/50 model to develop literacy and language skills in both English and Spanish, promoting bilingualism, bi-literacy and multiculturalism.

Students will enjoy a Dodger Stadium tour and Q&A session with Baez followed by a reading activity.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Wednesday’s program will also involve students from The Dream Project DR, who have participated in L.A. Reads events at the Dodgers’ Campo Las Palmas facility in the Dominican Republic.

During the program, the Gates Street Elementary students and the students from The Dream Project DR will share their takeaways from the reading via recorded videos. Students from Gates Street Elementary will take home a copy of the book “Un Leon En Cabarete,” which was created by the Dream Project DR.

Friday:

Long Beach reading and book distribution with Billie Jean King and Walker Buehler

Billie Jean King, Dodgers part-owner, social activist and tennis champion, will read “I am Billie Jean King” by Brad Meltzer to 200 fifth grade students. Following the reading, King and Walker Buehler will help distribute books to the students.

Additionally, every fifth grader in the Long Beach Unified School District will receive a copy of the book. King will have the library in her hometown of Long Beach renamed in her honor the following day, Saturday, Sept. 21, when the Dodgers are also honoring her with a bobblehead giveaway at Dodger Stadium.

L.A. Reads at Dodger Stadium

In support of L.A. Reads Week, players will wear L.A. Reads shirts during batting practice prior to their game against the Colorado Rockies. “Dodgers Reading Champions” from August will attend batting practice and be recognized during pregame ceremonies.