New Reading and Learning Center Unveiled at Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club


NBA, Home Depot, Dell, L.A. Works, RIF and Scholastic Join Together to Leave Lasting Community Impact in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, February 12 – Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club has been chosen by the NBA, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers as the location for the NBA’s Legacy Event at NBA All-Star 2004. The Legacy Event is the NBA’s premiere community event and will include a refurbished recreation facility, donated books, furniture, Dell computers and additional educational materials, and the creation of a state of the art Reading and Learning Center. The unveiling will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, 2635 Pasadena Avenue in Los Angeles on February 12th.

Lisa Leslie at the unveiling.
Scott Quintar/WNBAE/Getty Images

As part of its national Read to Achieve program, the NBA has teamed with the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers along with Dell, Home Depot, L.A. Works, Scholastic Inc. and Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. ® (RIF) to create a new Reading and Learning Center that will feature Dell desktop computers and servers, printers, educational software and more than 2,000 books and educational materials donated by the NBA and its partners. The NBA also will provide the center with multi-media equipment and numerous decorations including educational posters, and a collection of NBA photos.

“I am pleased that this new Reading and Learning Center will provide access to books and technology to the children of the greater Los Angeles area,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “By working together the entire NBA family and our partners are able to fulfill our mission of bringing the joy of reading to children everywhere.”

The Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club is the latest Reading and Learning Center created by the NBA’s Read to Achieve program. In an effort to provide access to reading materials and technology to young people and as a part of its national reading campaign “Read to Achieve,” the NBA and its teams have created 75 Reading and Learning centers and 90 Reading Corners all across North America. David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA, Bob Lanier, and Nate “Tiny” Archibald, NBA Legends, Sam Perkins and Jamaal Wilkes, WNBA superstars, Lakers Legends, and current Lakers and Clippers will join members of the NBA family who will be on hand to commemorate the Reading and Learning Center.

NBA All-Star 2004 highlights the league's deep commitment to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on helping youth. Each year the league, its players and its teams donate millions of dollars and thousands of hours to charities and community outreach programs.

The NBA’s community partners for the legacy event included; Dell, Home Depot, L.A. Works, Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.® (RIF) and Scholastic.

“Home Depot recognizes and embraces a strong commitment to invest in children. Our partnership with the NBA is one way we are delivering on that promise, working to help more children grow and learn together in a safe, healthy environment,” said Bruce Merino, Western Divisional President of The Home Depot. “We are proud of our associates who have spent hundreds of volunteer hours working to design and build ten Reading and Learning Centers across the country this year. They have made an impact that will be felt by children for generations to come.”

Dell’s contribution to the club’s renovation builds on the company’s commitment to education. Dell shares its technology expertise and resources to improve the education of youth and their odds of succeeding in a digital world through programs such as TechKnow, an after-school program that uses technology training and the promise of a student-built computer to keep "at risk" middle school students in school and focused on their grades.

“Projects such as the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club Reading and Learning Center help children develop more than just technology and reading skills,” said Jim Anderson, vice president, Dell Inc. “They help build their confidence, and that’s a critical part of every child’s success.”

Thousands of books and literacy materials were donated by the NBA, RIF, and Scholastic for the Reading and Learning Center.

"Reading Is Fundamental is delighted to assist again with the opening of a new Reading and Learning Center," said Carol H. Rasco, President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. "This center, and others like it, play a critical role in the community---to provide important reading and technology resources to children who need them most."

“Scholastic is pleased to support the NBA’s Read to Achieve program, and to help Los Angeles area children become life-long readers and learners through this exciting new resource center,” said Ernie Fleishman, Senior Vice President, Scholastic Education. “It is our hope that our contribution, a full complement of educational resources including books, software, educational programs and other support materials will benefit the Los Angeles community for years to come.”

Read to Achieve is a year-round program to help young people develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly to children. Reaching an estimated 50 million children a year, Read to Achieve is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports. Efforts include the annual donation of more than 350,000 books through a variety of reading events and book fairs, as well as the development of essay contests and on-line programs. In addition to being supported by all 29 NBA teams, 14 WNBA teams, the eight teams that make up the NBA's new minor league, the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), Read to Achieve is supported by the NBA's officials, parents and wives of players organizations, and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.

The NBA, its teams and players are committed to programs that improve the quality of life for all people and have created and implemented programs that address important social issues, with a special emphasis on reading and on-line literacy initiatives for children. The NBA and its teams make a difference in North America through donations to charities and the implementation of community outreach initiatives, and through the production and airing of public service announcements.

About Home Depot
Founded in 1978, The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2002 sales of $58.2 billion. The company employs approximately 300,000 associates and has 1,695 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, eight Canadian provinces, and Mexico. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

About Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past four quarters totaled $39.7 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.

About L.A. Works
L.A. Works was founded in 1991 by a group of concerned citizens from the entertainment, business and government sectors. On a weekly basis, L.A. Works offers a variety of community service projects. L.A. Works' volunteers work hand-in-hand with hundred of non-profit social service agencies throughout the city in order to improve the quality of life in our community. Since its inception, L.A. Works has made significant, visible and lasting contributions to Los Angeles County. L.A. Works has contributed over one million volunteer hours of service to Los Angeles, spent over 80,000 hours reading books to children and at-risk youth, 65,000 hours tutoring and 50,000 hours providing activities for the elderly, served over 10,000 meals to the homeless, and Painted hundred of murals at schools and non-profits.

About RIF
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, develops and delivers children's and family literacy programs that help prepare young children for reading and motivate school-age children to read regularly. RIF's highest priority is to serve the nation's neediest children, from birth to age 18. Through a national, grassroots network of 435,000 community volunteers, RIF programs last year provided 15 million new, free books and other essential literacy resources to nearly 5 million children. For more information, visit RIF's Web site at www.rif.org.

About Scholastic Inc.
Scholastic Corporation (NMS: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, textbooks, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company's Internet Site, www.scholastic.com.

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