Creating Confident Readers in Baltimore

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (May 25, 2017) – Today four out of five 4th graders from low-income families in the U.S. cannot read at grade-level. Coaching for Literacy (CFL) partnered with Johns Hopkins Women’s Lacrosse and head coach Janine Tucker to address this critical issue with Reading Partners Baltimore.


The Fight for Literacy with the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays was CFL’s first lacrosse partnership and the first opportunity for fans to pledge a donation for each assist made by the Blue Jays. Funds pledged by the general public during the entire month of April supported Reading Partners Baltimore.

Reading Partners Baltimore works to ensure students can read at grade-level by fourth grade. The program engages community volunteers to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to kids who have fallen behind. Students who were once struggling with literacy skills become confident readers, excited about learning. 

“Partnering with Coaching for Literacy and Johns Hopkins Women’s Lacrosse presented us with a unique opportunity to grow our audience and further raise awareness of the needs of our community and our city’s emerging readers,” said Amanda Fisher, Director of External Relations for Reading Partners Baltimore. “The funds raised through this campaign will help provide books and other supplies needed to support our one-on-one tutoring program.”


During the Fight for Literacy game on April 11th, Coach Tucker and the Johns Hopkins coaching staff wore Coaching for Literacy’s green literacy awareness wristbands and lapel pins, as well as knit polos from CFL partner Peter Millar. The players wore green socks to raise awareness about the importance of literacy.

"We were thrilled to partner with Coaching for Literacy to support Reading Partners of Baltimore,” said Coach Tucker. “The ability to read opens so many doors for children and adults and we were happy to play a small part in the Fight for Literacy. We are dedicated to this cause and hope to make this an annual event!"


Thanks to the support of sports teams and generous donors, Coaching for Literacy has funded over 50 literacy projects across 20 communities in 11 states. CFL’s efforts have directly benefitted over 8,000 children across the U.S.

"Our goal is to raise literacy awareness utilizing the influential voice of each and every sports team," said Ryan Viner, executive director of Coaching for Literacy. "We were honored to partner with Johns Hopkins and Coach Tucker to bring attention to the issue and financial support to Reading Partners Baltimore."

To learn more about how you can make a difference for literacy efforts in your community, visit and follow Coaching for Literacy on Twitter @coachingforlit.



Making a Difference in Mississippi with C Spire and Ole Miss Basketball

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (May 9, 2017) – Ole Miss men’s basketball, head coach Andy Kennedy and C Spire’s partnership in Coaching for Literacy’s Fight for Literacy reaps big rewards for Mississippi literacy efforts.

The Fight for Literacy with the Ole Miss men’s basketball team was a tremendous success both on and off the court. The Rebels received a well-earned conference win against Mizzou and over $14,000 was raised for literacy efforts.

Making a Difference in Mississippi

Only 21% of Mississippi fourth graders scored proficient or above in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

To provide direct impact on literacy level in the state of Mississippi, Coaching for Literacy is contributing $9,000 to the following Mississippi-based literacy programs: Leap FrogBarksdale Reading Institute and the Mississippi Children’s Museum

Funds allocated to the Mississippi Children’s Museum will support the Jackson Public School Reading Celebration, rewarding K-6th grade students who have completed their summer reading.

“The support we receive from Coaching for Literacy is instrumental in our ability to provide this special evening of celebration at the museum for children who complete their summer reading,” said Susan Garrard, president and CEO of the Mississippi Children’s Museum. “We are grateful for Coaching for Literacy’s commitment to early childhood education in Mississippi.”

An Inspired Success

C Spire launched Coaching for Literacy’s first social campaign in which C Spire committed to donate $1 to Mississippi literacy efforts for every tweet using #CSpire4Literacy. The campaign raised over $1,700 and brought a great deal of attention to the issue of illiteracy.

“C Spire is proud to partner once again with Coaching for Literacy and Ole Miss Athletics to bring attention and financial support to a critical issue impacting our students – illiteracy,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company. “We know that this joint effort will benefit our community today and for generations to come.”

Ole Miss Students Make a Powerful Contribution

Nearly 700 Ole Miss students made a $10 donation for the opportunity to win two all-access passes to the Ole Miss-Missouri game on February 25th.

The experience included courtside seats, locker room access, attendance for the postgame press conference, autographed memorabilia and college specific attire provided by CFL partner Peter Millar.

Coaching for Literacy’s Ole Miss Collegiate Chapter, a group of 30 current Ole Miss students, coordinated the raffle and awareness effort. The group also provides hundreds of volunteer hours to Leap Frog, a literacy program in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Coaching for Literacy provides the unique opportunity to truly impact the next generation and help others succeed in the community,” said Sam Fowlkes, president of Coaching for Literacy’s Ole Miss Collegiate Chapter. “I have seen firsthand the growth and development of literacy in Oxford and I am grateful that I could be a part of this year’s campaign.”



Impact Stories: Welcome Dr. Loretta Rudd

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (October 25, 2016) – Dr. Loretta Rudd, Clinical Associate Professor of Child Development at the University of Memphis, joins the Coaching for Literacy (CFL) Board of Directors. Dr. Rudd brings extraordinary literacy expertise along with a compelling desire to invest in the lives of students both in Memphis and nationwide.

"I'm delighted to serve on the Coaching for Literacy board!” said Dr. Rudd. “I have spent 30+ years working with parents and educators to enhance the language and literacy skills of young children in an effort to improve their ability to become productive citizens. I look forward to working with the Coaching for Literacy team to continue this work."

“Dr. Rudd’s work and passion for literacy initiatives immediately impressed our staff and board,” said Ryan Viner, Executive Director of Coaching for Literacy. “We strive to utilize donor contributions in the most impactful manner, ensuring that every dollar given is helping a child become more literate. Dr. Rudd’s level of expertise will improve our ability to effectively impact literacy levels nationwide.”

Dr. Rudd earned her PhD in educational psychology from Baylor University and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in communication disorders/deaf education from The University of Texas at Austin. She also received a master's of education in educational administration from Tarleton State University.

Previously, Dr. Rudd was an assistant professor at the University of Utah. While she was an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, she served as the Campus Champion for the Jumpstart for Young Children-Lubbock, an early literacy program that partners college students with children from low income homes. For 12 years, she taught in public education in Texas and California. She taught preschool through high school aged profoundly hearing-impaired children, general education first grade and Pre-K.

Coaching for Literacy is a non-profit organization that leverages the unique power of sports to raise awareness of the problem of illiteracy in our society and generate financial support for effective literacy programs. CFL exists to create a movement, raise awareness, fund literacy work, teach children to read and change the future. Because of the support of donors and partners, CFL has raised over $500,000, funded 50 literacy projects and benefitted over 7,600 kids.

CONTACT: Gray Blocker | O: 901.410.3633 | E:



TWITTER: @coachingforlit

FACEBOOK: Coaching for Literacy

INSTAGRAM: coachingforliteracy



Impact Stories: Celebrate Reading

Literacy is in the very fabric of the design of Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM). From its life-size scrabble board to the Jackson Public School Summer Reading Celebration, MCM promotes the joy of reading.

Because of the generous gift of over $5,000 from Coaching for Literacy (CFL) donors and the overwhelming support from Ole Miss Men's Basketball and C Spire Wireless, the museum provided free admission to its annual Jackson Public School (JPS) Summer Reading Celebration for over 780 students, parents and guardians. The evening included a short awards ceremony for the top readers, refreshments provided by the Junior League of Jackson and educational-based play in the museum. There were lots of smiles, proud parents and over 1,000 books gifted to the children who had completed their JPS Summer Reading Program goals. 

Fourth grader at Marshall Elementary, Courtney Kern said, “I like to come to the museum to celebrate reading. It’s been fun and I’ve been able to see my friends.”

MCM served 780 students and adults and honored the school district’s top readers with additional recognition, including certificates, medals, books and other prizes.

MCM served 780 students and adults and honored the school district’s top readers with additional recognition, including certificates, medals, books and other prizes.

“I love this event. It allows children who are striving for success to come in and feel a true since of accomplishment,” said Jana Perry, Director of Education and Programs at the Mississippi Children’s Museum. “It is so important to send the message that reading is vital to the success of an individual in school and in life.”

The mission of Mississippi Children's Museum is to provide unparalleled experiences that ignite a thirst for discovery, knowledge and learning in all children. The museum accomplishes this mission through hands-on and engaging exhibits and program focusing on literacy, the arts, science, health and nutrition- the keys to helping children mature into healthy and productive adult learners.

The JPS Summer Reading Celebration motivates children to both enjoy reading and feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete their required summer reading. CFL’s partnership with Mississippi Children’s Museum would not be possible without the support from generous donors. Together we can create lifelong readers by celebrating the love of literacy.