Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation to hold inaugural LA Reads Week

September 17th, 2019

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will hold their inaugural LA Reads Week with literacy events throughout the Los Angeles area involving Dodger players, alumni and ownership starting tomorrow.

LA Reads is a joint initiative between the Dodgers and LADF to help address the literacy crisis in Los Angeles by getting children excited about reading. Now in its third year, the program involves Dodger players, coaches, executives and alumni reading to children and rewards students that participate in the “Dodgers Reading Champions” challenge, which provides incentives for 1st-8th graders who read more than 30 minutes per day. In 2019, students throughout Southern California read a combined total of 1.5 million minutes as part of the “Dodgers Reading Champions” program. Students and families can learn more about the program at

“Research shows that students who read more often, demonstrate higher scores in reading ability; and access to quality literary resources leads to higher achievement scores in reading proficiency exams,” said Nichol Whiteman, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation CEO. “We’re proud of the impact LA Reads continues to make in helping to foster a life-long love of reading for millions of children.”

“LA Reads Week demonstrates the importance of this initiative to our Dodger players, alumni and ownership, and the organization’s commitment to continue to expand the program’s reach in Southern California,” said Naomi Rodriguez, Dodger Vice President of External Affairs and Community Relations.

Literacy has always been of significant importance to both the Dodgers and LADF. Partnerships with Read Across America and various activations with LA County schools underscore this commitment. LADF has invested $2.4 million in the form of education grants to nonprofit organizations in the local community, with 25% going to directly tackling the literacy crisis. This includes the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, City Year LA, Read to a Child, Read Lead, Reading Partners LA, 826LA and Para Los Ninos.

A full listing of LA Reads Week events and activations is below:


  • Family Literacy Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Dodger Alumni Dennis Powell will read to kids, and pass out LA Reads posters and bookmarks at The Aquarium of the Pacific’s inaugural Family Literacy Night, which will welcome 2,000 Long Beach students, teachers, and families living in neighborhoods deserving of additional resources and opportunity. The evening event will provide fun and engaging experiences for families to learn together, including reading stations throughout the Aquarium’s galleries hosted by local authors, Aquarium supporters, and community partners. Aquarium of the Pacific is a LADF grantee.
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802.


  • LA Reads with Pedro Baez and The Dream Project DR
  • Dodger reliever Pedro Baez will meet with students from Gates Street Elementary School, a dual language school in Lincoln Heights. The dual language program uses a 50/50 model to develop literacy and language skills in both English and Spanish, promoting bilingualism, bi-literacy and multiculturalism. Students will enjoy a Dodger Stadium tour and a Q&A session with Baez followed by a reading activity.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Wednesday’s program will also involve students from The Dream Project DR, who have participated in LA Reads events at the Dodgers’ Campo Las Palmas facility in the Dominican Republic. During the program, the Gates Street Elementary students and the students from The Dream Project DR will share their takeaways from the reading via recorded videos. Students from Gates Street Elementary will take home a copy of the book “Un Leon En Cabarete,” which was created by the Dream Project DR.

  • 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Dodger Stadium Interview Room.


  • Long Beach reading and book distribution with Billie Jean King and Walker Buehler
  • Billie Jean King, Dodger owner, social activist and tennis champion, will read “I am Billie Jean King” by Brad Meltzer to 200 5th grade students. Following the reading, King and Dodger All-Star pitcher Walker Buehler will help distribute books to the students. Additionally, every 5th grader (over 5,000) in Long Beach Unified School District will receive a copy of the book.

Billie Jean King will have the library in her hometown of Long Beach renamed in her honor the following day, Saturday, Sept. 21, when the Dodgers will also honor her with a bobblehead presented by Budweiser.

o    11:30 a.m., Oropeza Elementary School 700 Locust Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813

  • LA Reads at Dodger Stadium
  • In support of LA Reads Week, Dodger players will wear LA Reads shirts during batting practice prior to their 7:10 p.m. game vs. the Colorado Rockies. “Dodgers Reading Champions” from August will attend batting practice and be recognized during pregame ceremonies.

About the Dodgers:

The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, with six World Series championships and 23 National League pennants since its beginnings in Brooklyn in 1890, is committed to a tradition of pride and excellence. The Dodgers are dedicated to supporting a culture of winning baseball, providing a first-class, fan-friendly experience at Dodger Stadium, and building a strong partnership with the community. With the highest cumulative fan attendance in Major League Baseball history, and a record of breaking barriers, the Dodgers are one of the most cherished sports franchises in the world.

Visit the Dodgers online at, follow them on Twitter @Dodgers and like them on Facebook at

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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, follow them on Twitter, @DodgersFdn, Instagram @dodgersfoundation and like them on Facebook at /LosAngelesDodgersFoundation