WICHITA, Kan., Feb. 2, 2022 – Coaching for Literacy is a national initiative that brings college basketball fans and dozens of teams together annually for a common cause: Ensuring our children can read. Every year coaching staff and athletes across the country select a specific game to wear #Green4Literacy and encourage their fans to donate in support of local literacy programs. Over 40 teams are participating this year to support their local community and Wichita State University’s (WSU) Men’s Basketball team has participated in the program for the last several years.
L to R: United Way of the Plains President and CEO Pete Najera, WSU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Isaac Brown, and United Way of the Plains Vice President of Community Impact Abel Frederic. Click to download.
This year’s annual #Fight4Literacy game will be held on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. in Charles Koch Arena when WSU Men’s Basketball team plays the University of South Florida. Donations will stay local with United Way of the Plains to support literacy programs in Title I elementary schools in the Shocker neighborhood. The funds will be used to provide books featuring diverse characters to children from kindergarten through third grade and to enhance the ongoing Read to Succeed tutoring program. Over 400 volunteer reading coaches in the Read to Succeed program meet weekly with students for 30 minutes to listen to them read and help them improve their reading skills.
Donations are already underway at unitedwayplains.org/literacy where fans can track the team’s #GiveLiteracy progress and see how they’re performing against 40 other colleges. The first $5,000 will be matched, doubling the impact of every gift received.
WSU fans won the national #Fight4Literacy championship title in 2021, raising $28,000 in donations and matching funds. WSU Men’s Basketball Coach Isaac Brown hopes to repeat that performance in 2022. “We have some of the best fans in the nation and last year they proved how much they love our community through their generous donations. We’d love to be named the national champions again this year so that we can prepare our next generation of Shocker students to fulfill their potential and achieve their goals.”
Dr. Alicia Thompson, Wichita Public Schools Superintendent, said that it’s imperative for the entire community to help increase literacy rates. “We all benefit when children are reading at grade level and focused on increasing their learning skills. We are most appreciative when the community donates funds to help buy books, supplies, and to support tutoring programs that motivate students to increase their reading proficiency so that they have a better chance of completing high school.”
International Paper is the presenting sponsor for Coaching for Literacy’s 2021-22022 #Fight4LiteracyGames and has committed funds to kickstart the 2022 fundraising for WSU’s Feb. 12 game.
WSU fans can donate at unitedwayplains.org/literacy. $10 helps purchase two books for a child.
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United Way of the Plains is a nonprofit and for-impact organization that focuses on health, education, financial stability and basic needs – the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Our mission is to improve lives by harnessing the caring power of our community to advance the common good in south central Kansas. Follow us on these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.