LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) announced today that Dodger owner, sports legend Billie Jean King and Dodger infielders, Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios, will host a book distribution and reading event on Friday, September 20**th** at 11:30 a.m. at Oropeza Elementary School (700 Locust Ave. Long Beach, 90813). King, Lux, and Rios will team up at the event as they share the importance of reading and help LADF provide access to books for underserved children. With the support of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, all 5th graders in the Long Beach Unified School District will receive the “I am Billie Jean King” book this academic year.
“We are honored to partner with such an icon like Billie Jean King who truly represents our Foundation’s values and mission to serve youth with limited access to education, sports and healthcare resources,” said Chaitali Gala, LADF Chief Operating Officer. “Her story, her work, and all that she stands for are such great examples for children everywhere, and now 5,000 kids will receive the gift of reading and owning her story.”
As part of the Ordinary People Change the World book series, “I am Billie Jean King” shares the journey of tennis legend, Billie Jean King, and her efforts as a champion of equality. King will read an excerpt of her book to 200 students from Oropeza and Edison Elementary Schools.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation stands for equity and opportunity, which made this an important and logical partnership for us and to be able to connect it with the students in Long Beach makes it extra special,” said Billie Jean King, Dodger Owner and Founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. “I hope these children enjoy reading this story and are inspired to live their dreams and create their own groundbreaking path.”
On September 21, Billie Jean King will also have the Long Beach Main Library named in her honor and the Dodgers will host a Billie Jean King bobblehead night presented by Budweiser at Dodger Stadium featuring youth from Long Beach Unified.
LA Reads is a literacy campaign focused on helping youth build a lifelong love of reading, providing access to books for underserved youth, and improving overall reading frequency for school-aged children through several community and stadium events and an annual literacy challenge called Dodgers Reading Champions. Following the event and through December, LADF will host 10 additional reading events in Long Beach Unified.
About the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation:
Founded in 1995 as the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is bigger than baseball, envisioning a city where every young Angeleno, regardless of neighborhood, has the opportunity to thrive. For young Angelenos with limited access to education, sports and healthcare, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is a champion that increases the quality of life and confidence of the people we serve by using our historic Dodger brand and the power of sport to run and fund proven programs — at a time when a quality education, youth sports and health care are increasingly reserved for the elite. With the support of partners, stakeholders and fans, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation produces incredible results on fields, in classrooms and at recreation centers, creating Major League Communities.
Visit LADF online at www.dodgers.com/ladf, follow them on Twitter, @DodgersFdn, Instagram @dodgersfoundation and like them on Facebook at /LosAngelesDodgersFoundation
About the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative:
BJKLI is a non-profit endeavor founded in 2014 by social justice pioneer and sports icon Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss to promote equality and inclusion, inspire future leaders and motivate those in positions of power to challenge the status quo. Members of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative Advisory Board include: Billie Jean King, Co-founder; Ilana Kloss, Co-founder; Paul Keary, Co-founder and COO, Teneo Holdings; Pablo Salame, Former Global Co-Head, Securities Division, Goldman Sachs; Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent, CNN; Jason Collins, Former NBA Player and Civil Rights Advocate; David Furnish, Chairman, Elton John AIDS Foundation and CEO, Rocket Entertainment Group; Maritza Gomez-Montiel, Former Vice Chairman and Deputy CEO of Deloitte; Sir Elton John; Jonathan Kraft, President, The Kraft Group; Robert McCann, Chairman, UBS Group Americas; Pat Mitchell, Founder and CEO, POW! Strategies and Executive Producer of TEDWomen; Robin Roberts, Anchor, ABC's Good Morning America; Michael Strautmanis, VP of Civic Engagement for the Obama Foundation; Serena Williams, Professional Athlete & Entrepreneur; Venus Williams, Professional Athlete & CEO/ Founder, EleVen and V Starr Interiors.