On February 26th the St. Mary’s Gaels and the University of San Francisco Dons squared off in a pivotal, end of the season clash. Although the Dons lost the game against the Gaels, they did score a massive victory in the Fight for Literacy.

Through Coaching for Literacy’s Assistant Coach Program with the University of San Francisco men’s basketball team and the generosity of a private donor, $4,000 will be applied to the collective literacy work of San Francisco RBI and Coaching for Literacy. “The partnership with Coaching for Literacy and the University of San Francisco men’s basketball team is a prime example of the positive impact sports can make for social causes,” said Jim Messemer, San Francisco RBI founder and executive director. “We are thankful for Head Coach Rex Walters, Scott Sidwell, Matthew Ackermann and the many great team members of the University of San Francisco Athletic Department for utilizing their influence to make a difference in the Fight for Literacy and the future of children in our community.”

San Francisco RBI students honored at halftime by the University of San Francisco

San Francisco RBI students honored at halftime by the University of San Francisco

“90% of all dollars donated to San Francisco RBI go directly to supporting the children in our program. The monies donated by Coaching for Literacy allow for programming such as graduate level interns delivering customized lesson plans to struggling readers and students in under-resourced areas,” said Messemer. San Francisco RBI believes that all children, regardless of circumstance, should be able to read at or above grade level. Strategically aligned with Major League Baseball, San Francisco RBI achieves this goal by working with schools in diverse under-resourced communities and collaborating with a robust network of public and private entities. Together San Francisco RBI implements an innovative data-driven model that integrates reading, baseball, softball, technology and wellness, thereby educating the whole child.

CFL’s financial contribution allows us to provide more children in under-resourced communities with the individualized support they need to read at or above grade level.
— Nancy Lee, Director of Literacy at San Francisco RBI

The passion for ensuring that all children are literate is rooted in a belief that all humans have equal worth and dignity. The evening’s proceedings celebrated the value that Coaching for Literacy, San Francisco RBI, and the University of San Francisco place on people and the future of our communities. During halftime, The University of San Francisco honored the efforts of San Francisco RBI students and staff. Furthermore, the “Assistant Coaches” for the evening, Greg Siggins and Michael Strickland, currently work with San Francisco RBI’s local literacy initiatives. “We are incredibly thankful for the generosity shown by Coaching for Literacy and the University of San Francisco men’s basketball team,” said Nancy Lee, director of literacy, San Francisco RBI. “Their financial contribution allows us to provide more children in under-resourced communities with the individualized support they need to read at or above grade level. We are grateful for their continuous support as we look to scale our programs.”

Coaching for Literacy Assistant Coach Program participants: Greg Siggins and Michael Strickland

Coaching for Literacy Assistant Coach Program participants: Greg Siggins and Michael Strickland

Coaching for Literacy (CFL), a Memphis based nonprofit, leverages the influence of sports to achieve its mission: raise awareness about the problem of illiteracy in America and generate financial support for effective, local literacy programs. Through its nationwide initiative, the Assistant Coach Program, Coaching for Literacy sells the opportunity to receive two all-access tickets to be an “Assistant Coach” for the night with partner collegiate teams. The proceeds are subsequently directed to local literacy programs and awareness is generated about the problem of illiteracy in America.

In 2014-2015, Coaching for Literacy’s third full year of fundraising efforts with collegiate basketball and football programs, the group conducted 15 events with teams including Kansas, Ole Miss, SMU, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and the University of San Francisco. “The key to the success of this nationwide program is teamwork and collaboration,” said Ryan Viner, executive director of Coaching for Literacy. “Without willing athletic programs such as the University of San Francisco and amazing literacy partners like San Francisco RBI we could not make an impact on the literacy levels of our communities nationwide”.

VOLUNTEER AT SAN FRANCISCO RBI: Volunteer Information

CONTACT: Ryan Viner | 901.410.3633 | ryan@coachingforliteracy.org

HELPFUL LINKS: STATS VIDEO // ABOUT CFL VIDEO // USF BASKETBALL // SAN FRANCISCO RBI

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