READ! By 4th Campaign Teams Up with Eagles Youth Partnership

October 16, 2014

The READ! by 4th Campaign announced on October 15, 2014 that Eagles Youth Partnership and Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin will serve as a leading voice for the Campaign's efforts to boost the number of children reading on grade level by the start of fourth grade. Boykin will serve as the Campaign's first "Philadelphia icon" and will use his appearance on sports radio and in local elementary schools working with Eagles Youth's Partnership's Book Mobile to promote the importance of literacy.

"It's important for us to invest in our future and our future is our youth," said Boykin. "An essential tool for them is the ability to read and comprehend. In order to help the children of our city develop and succeed in school, we need to spend time reading with them and encouraging them, which is why I'm proud to be joining this Campaign." Boykin will also use his media appearances and social media to further provide parents tips on how parents can help their children become great readers. For social media, he encourages parents to "#DoThe22" by spending 22 minutes every day reading and interacting with their children. For added motivation, Eagles Youth Partnership will donate 12,000 posters promoting literacy and featuring Boykin to be posted in every kindergarten through third grade public school classroom, early childhood programs, recreation centers and libraries across the city.

"The single best predictor of a child's success in school is based on his or her level of reading, so it's incumbent on us, as a community, to nurture a love for reading in them," said Sarah Martinez-Helfman, Eagles Youth Partnership Executive Director. "We are looking forward to working with the School District of Philadelphia, Public Citizens For Children and Youth, and the Urban Affairs Coalition, who have taken a hands-on approach in focusing their efforts on this initiative." School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite expresses his excitement for the campaign. "We are honored that athletes like Brandon Boykin, this campaign and its supporters are willing to do what they can to help get students on track for academic success."

Donna Cooper, Executive Director of Public Citizens and Youth, worked with the Urban Affairs Coalition and the 50 organizations to develop a multi-year strategy for the Campaign. She hopes other famous and successful Philadelphians will follow Brandon's example to motivate our city's children to read so they, too, can become successful adults.

Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition concluded with this statement. "We are thrilled that that the Eagles Youth Partnership has made a commitment to this campaign. We know that athletes are some of our student's first role models, and we hope that more athletes and others will step forward to carry the torch for literacy in our city."

To learn more about the READ! By 4th Campaign, click here for full link.