December 23, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Coaching for Literacy (CFL) is excited to add the SMU Mustangs to its list of supporting teams for the 2014-15 men's basketball season.
The mission of Coaching for Literacy is to increase awareness about the number of people in America who are functionally or totally illiterate and the social problems associated with illiteracy. By leveraging the unique power of collegiate and professional sports, Coaching for Literacy raises money to support effective local literacy programs and schools focused on educating elementary and middle school students.
"Coach Brown and the entire athletic department at SMU have been incredibly supportive of Coaching for Literacy. SMU understands that the influence of their athletic program can be utilized to help children become more literate, and ultimately have a say in their endings, no matter their beginnings," said Ryan Viner, executive director of Coaching for Literacy.
The concept is simple: a monetary donation is made to Coaching for Literacy and in return two people get to be "Assistant Coaches" at a collegiate game. Courtside seats, locker room access, attendance at the post-game press conference, autographed memorabilia, a picture with Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown, and college specific attire provided by CFL partner Peter Millar are just some of the perks received by the generous donors. This donation is then re-allocated by CFL to its effective literacy partners both in Dallas and Memphis.
The SMU men's basketball team and CFL are partnering together in the fight against illiteracy on two occasions this year. The Mustangs will host CFL's Assistant Coach Program as UCF (1/31/2015) and Temple (2/19/15) make their way to Moody Coliseum.
"We are proud to partner with Coaching for Literacy. It is important that we do all we can to be a part of the solution, and this is a program that is changing lives," said SMU head coach Larry Brown.
The School Zone - West Dallas will be the Dallas recipient of funds raised from the Assistant Coach Program events with SMU. Led by The Budd Center within SMU's Simmons School of Education, schools and nonprofits in The School Zone work together to ensure children have the educational tools they need to exit poverty as adults. A portion of the proceeds will also be allocated to CFL partner literacy programs in Memphis: Memphis Teacher Residency and Streets Ministries.
"We're honored to be a part of this collective effort at SMU to support literacy in West Dallas," said Regina Nippert, executive director of The Budd Center. "This issue is too big for schools to solve alone. We all have a part to play in ending illiteracy."
Interested in being an "Assistant Coach" with the SMU Mustangs and want to join the fight against illiteracy? Contact Ryan Viner.