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.”

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