Franchise Tag: Raptors, Nuggets and Grizzlies Reaching Out to Youth

Toronto Raptors Read to Achieve Program

The Toronto Raptors recently played host to more than 13,000 kids for the first ever Raptors Read To Achieve Open Practice. Students and teachers from across the province enjoyed a morning of entertainment with the team.

The Read To Achieve program helps schools:

  • Develop students reading skills
  • Create an authentic purpose for reading
  • Reach all learners
  • Develop a love of reading for pleasure in students
  • Fulfill students’ daily sustained reading requirements

The Toronto Raptors Read To Achieve program, now in its eighth year, had 50,000 students participating in its free literacy based activities during the 2007-08 season (Toronto Raptors).

Denver Nuggets: The entire Denver Nuggets team recently held its 3rd Annual Open Practice, hosting nearly 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Denver Public Schools. Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony got the event started by welcoming the students and talking about the importance of doing well in school. The kids cheered throughout the entire practice as the players went through their drills and scrimmage.

As an extra incentive, students received gift bags that included a Nuggets t-shirt, school folder with Nuggets schedule and two tickets to a Nuggets preseason game. The participants will also have an opportunity to do Nuggets-themed math, writing and geography worksheets online for a chance for their class to win a private Nuggets appearance during the season (Denver Nuggets).

Memphis Grizzlies: The Memphis Grizzlies hosted its Read to Achieve Tip-Off at a local elementary school this past Monday. Players Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, Marc Gasol and Hakim Warrick were on hand to stress the importance of reading and teach students that education and reading can be fun. Gay also helped dedicate a new Grizzlies Reading and Learning Center, which is the third such center that the Grizzlies have opened this year.

Meanwhile, the team held its Get Fit with the Grizzlies Tip-Off yesterday to promote physical fitness. The Get Fit Tip-Off marks the start of a four week challenge where fourth and fifth graders in area schools track what they eat and the amount of exercise that they get in order to live healthier lives (Memphis Grizzlies).

Photo credit: Toronto Raptors

Blazers Feed 4,000 at Annual Harvest; Lakers Open New Learning Center

Blazers' Harvest Dinner

The Portland Trail Blazers recently hosted 4,000 guests at the team’s annual Harvest Dinner. The dinner, which served homeless and critically low-income individulas and families, was executed entirely through volunteer efforts of Blazers staff, players, coaches, community partners, local media members and corporate partners (Portland Trail Blazers).

L.A. Story: In California, Janis Carr wrote that Lakers players Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic and Pau Gasol joined the NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler last week to open the Lakers Reading and Learning Center at the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles. Carr noted that “a new media center, which included new computers and a game room, was also unveiled.”

This was the 12th center the Lakers have sponsored in partnership with the NBA and Toyota. Toyota Project Rebound is a community initiative established by the NBA and Toyota. The program includes 15 hands-on community service projects sponsored by NBA and WNBA teams, and will include court refurbishments, the creation of Learn & Play Centers, and other Legacy Projects providing youth safe places to live, learn or play (Orange County Register, 10/16).

Photo credit: Portland Trail Blazers

Franchise Tag: Rays’ Community Corner Helps Charities in Tampa Bay Region

Tampa Bay Rays Community Corner

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox last night in ALCS Game 7 to advance to this year’s World Series.

The Rays’ success this year led to their second-highest season highest attendance total at Tropicana Field. That worked out well for several Tampa Bay region charities. Maybe it’s no coincidence that for the 2008 season, the Rays designated an area in the ballpark dedicated to raising awareness for various non-profit community groups. The Community Corner, located in the first base concourse, hosts organizations from the region as a tool to hand out collateral and interact with fans.

Among the are organizations the Rays hosted this season are the Louise Graham Regeneration Center, American Red Cross, YWCA of Tampa Bay, Susan G. Komen Foundation, YMCA, Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Photo credit: Tampa Bay Rays

Franchise Tag: NL Champs Reaching Kids With Phillies Phundamentals Program

Phillies Phundamentals

After advancing to their first World Series since 1993 last night, the Philadelphia Phillies are the buzz of the sports world. Today, Progress Avenue takes a look at Phillies Phundamentals, the team’s after-school/summer camp program for children 7-12 years old that uses baseball to teach and reinforce academic skills. Phillies Phundamentals is broken into two school-year sessions — fall and spring — and a summer session.

Any academic subject can easily use baseball as a tool to educate. Phillies Phundamentals lessons have focused on mathematics by using player statistics, reading/literature, history, science, health, geography and art. The 2008 summer session of Phillies Phundamentals focused on the importance of recycling by focusing on the efforts of the Phillies Red Goes Green program and what they can do in their community to help the environment.

Since its inception in 2001, Phillies Phundamentals has taken place in 30 different locations and reaches approximately 2,000 children each year (Philadelphia Phillies).

Franchise Tag: Rams Foundation’s Cornerstone Programs Target Youth

St. Louis Rams Foundation

The St. Louis Rams Foundation focuses the majority of its resources on several Cornerstone Programs, designed to positively impact youth in the areas of education, literacy, health and youth football.

  • Community First

Community First allows schools and non-profit youth organizations the opportunity to earn tickets to Rams home games by “putting the community first” and developing and implementing community service projects. The program has generated more than 25,000 hours of community service since its inception in 1998.

  • Diversity Awareness Partnership

After helping launch the Diversity Awareness Partnership in 2000, the Rams continue to unite organizations in the effort to reduce bias and discrimination, and promote the value of difference among the people of St. Louis. An example of this collaboration is the Edward Jones’ Give Respect – Get Respect Youth Program that has engaged middle and high school students, teachers and members of today’s workforce in this pursuit of acceptance.

  • Emerging Leaders

The objective of the the St. Louis Rams Emerging Leaders Program is to provide St. Louis area high school juniors an opportunity to understand the daily operations of business and community organizations. During the program, students observe a variety of different occupations, receive specialized training, develop leadership skills important to their future professional lives and build relationships with students from diverse high schools.

  • Huddle Up

The St. Louis Rams and CHARACTERplus have joined together to help educators integrate character building into classroom curricula. A web site has been developed that provides resources for classroom teachers including lesson plans. Teachers will also have an opportunity to compete in a contest to recognize outstanding lesson plans that integrate character into core academics.

  • Rams Reader Team/ Literacy Initiatives

The Rams place a high priority on literacy and partner with area organizations to increase interest in reading, provide free books for underserved communities and train tutors. The Rams also started the Rams Reader Team, a program that targets kids from kindergarten to high school, and encourages them to visit their local library, sign up to be a Rams Reader Team member, and choose a book from the reading list.

  • St. Louis Public Schools Rams Fitness Team

The Rams and St. Louis Public Schools have collaborated to create the Rams Fitness Team, a program that includes a flag football curriculum, training sessions with Rams personnel and a component on nutrition and lifetime fitness. The Rams Fitness Team also recognizes the importance of physical education teachers in today’s schools, through the Physical Education Teacher of the Year program.

  • Youth Football

The Rams have joined with the NFL to identify opportunities to enhance, promote and recognize positive aspects of football at every level. The team, along with the local chapter of the National Football Foundation, has led the way in creating an Amateur Football Council, designed to support organizations committed to amateur football and to promote youth development, sportsmanship and academic excellence through youth football (St. Louis Rams).

Bengals Holding All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience Today in Cincinnati

All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience

The All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience is being held today at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The event is hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz. Founded with the help of Tony Dungy, the All Pro Dad fatherhood program helps to educate fathers on the best ways to become an “All Pro Dad.” Fathers are encouraged to bring their children to the event, where they receive fatherhood tips and participate in special activities with their kids, while rotating through football-themed learning stations located around the field.

Munoz: “Thousands of men around the world are becoming better husbands and fathers by joining our All Pro Dad team. To become an All Pro Dad, we encourage men to spend one minute a day reading our free daily email, The Play of the Day, one hour a month participating in an All Pro Dad’s Day breakfast, and one day a year taking part in our All Pro Dad Father and Kids Experience” (Cincinnati Bengals).

Baltimore Ravens: The Baltimore Ravens will join close to 50 volunteers this Tuesday in presenting a refurbished Sandtown Habitat for Humanity home to a deserving family. Sandtown Habitat is a charitable partner of the Ravens All Community Team Foundation, and the team has pledged consistent financial and volunteer support. The charitable arm will present the nonprofit organization with a check for $25,000 at the dedication (Baltimore Ravens).

Frye Hosts Leadership Academies; Bobcats’ D.E.A.R. Program; Kids Welcome Rookies

Portland Trail Blazers C Channing Frye conducted the first ever Channing Frye Leadership Academy in Portland June 16-18 for 60 boys and girls. The academy focused on helping the youth develop skills that they can apply off the court. The week before the Portland academy, Frye hosted 120 kids to his second leadership academy in Phoenix. Frye is a gradute of University of Arizona, where he played under coach Lute Olson.

Frye: “The kids learn how to take care of themselves. They learn how to be tough. Some of these kids are tired, but they stick with it because they love it. Those types of lessons can’t be learned through a book.”

At the end of June, the Channing Frye Foundation hosted the inaugural C. Frye Celebrity Golf Tournament with Honorary Chair Lute Olson. Proceeds from the golf tournament will go to the foundation and the MS Society Chapters of New York City, Arizona and Oregon (Portland Trail Blazers). Click Here to watch an interview with Frye.

Bobcats:The Charlotte Bobcats recently hosted the fifth annual D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) Day at Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte Bobcats).

Warriors: Golden State Warriors rookies Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix were welcomed to the Warriors by 50 Bay Area students at ORACLE Arena on June 30 (Golden State Warriors).