Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The second daw of the 2024 Los Angeles Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour consisted of visits to Gabriella Charter School and Homeboy Industries, with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, Landon Knack and Fernando Valenzuela taking part in giving back.
In the morning, Knack read to a group of second-grade students as part of the L.A. Reads program by the team and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF).
The program was designed to motivate youth to build a love of reading by way of providing educational resources and supporting literacy throughout the year.
“It was a great time,” Knack told DodgerBlue.com. “They seemed to have so much fun with it and were engaged. It was a lot of fun.”
Knack, just 26 years old himself, was able to lean on prior experiences reading to young children thanks to having a good relationship with his fiancée’s cousins who also are in the second grade.
“It was very familiar,” Knack said.
He was accompanied by LADF chief executive officer Nichol Whiteman, Dodgers vice president of government and community affairs Kristin McCowan, and Friedman, whose wife is a former teacher and also attended the reading session.
“This is really what it’s all about,” Friedman said. “I mean, this whole week is incredible. From the work that our community relations group, our foundation group and with Bank of America, and with this school being in our backyard and a golf shot away from Dodger Stadium.
“To give back like this, to connect with our future fans and hear stories about how many kids talked about watching games with their parents, that creates generational fans that are such a part of the Dodgers’ tradition and history, was really special to hear.”
Fernando Valenzuela, Dodgers visit Homeboy Industries
The second stop of the day on the Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour 2024 was to Homeboy Industries, a non-profit rehabilitation organization that provides hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated people.
Valenzuela was serenaded by a mariachi group and he took photos with hundreds of fans who were pre-selected Homeboy Industries participants.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of this community and this event,” Valenzuela said. “I can see a lot of people follow the Dodgers, and that’s great. The Dodgers do a lot of good for the community. This is a great moment.”
Like at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on Monday, the Dodgers made $5,000 donations to Gabriella Charter School and Homeboy Industries.
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