I first learned about the Coaching for Literacy program about a year ago in the fall of 2012 and was immediately drawn to it. I have been surrounded by teachers throughout my life (my wife, mother and three aunts) so I have always been aware of the importance literacy plays in a child’s development and ability to reach future potential. However, I was alarmed to hear some of the statistics and learn about the overwhelming obstacles these individuals face who lack a skill I take for granted every day. After learning Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings was participating in the Coaching for Literacy program in my hometown of Nashville, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
The gameday experience with Head Coach Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt University and Coaching for Literacy provided was absolutely first class. A friend and I had the type of access that would make ESPN crews jealous. We were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the basketball facilities inside Memorial Gymnasium, visited with a couple assistant coaches and had the chance to chat one-on-one with Coach Stallings on the court before the game. As a basketball junkie, it was an experience I’ll never forget and an opportunity any sports fan would relish.
The icing on the cake was knowing the money raised would stay here in my community to help make a real difference in kids’ lives. Coaching for Literacy combines one thing I and many others are already passionate about – sports – and another that needs more passion – improving literacy in local communities across the country. I will be an ongoing supporter of the program and would encourage others to do the same.
Eric Blattner is a great friend of Coaching for Literacy, currently resides in Nashville, TN and works with Ivy Funds Distributor.