Mizzou Men’s Basketball Partners with Coaching for Literacy to Benefit Read Across Columbia, a Heart of Missouri United Way Program

Mizzou Men’s Basketball has partnered with Coaching for Literacy to benefit Read Across Columbia, a Heart of Missouri United Way program aimed to help remove barriers to literacy. The Coaching for Literacy game will take place on Sunday, November 19 at 5 p.m. at Mizzou Arena where the Mizzou Men’s Basketball team will play Jackson State University.

United Way will accept donations of new or gently used books for kids in elementary school at the Fight for Literacy Game. Fans are welcome to bring as many age-appropriate books as they want to donate.

Prior to the game, community members can donate to the Read Across Columbia program at: https://www.uwheartmo.org/coaching-for-literacy/ 

International Paper will match donations to the Read Across Columbia program through the online site for up to $5,000. A check will be presented to Heart of Missouri United Way leadership for Read Across Columbia at halftime of the November 19 game.

Heart of Missouri United Way is grateful to partner with Coaching for Literacy and the Mizzou Men’s Basketball team so that we can increase the love of reading and learning through the Read Across Columbia program,” said Chief Operations Officer, David Holtgraewe.

Read Across Columbia puts inclusive book titles into the hands of all first and second grade students at our five elementary schools with the lowest reading proficiency scores and highest free-and-reduced lunch rates. These same schools are also the most diverse in our district. Each Fall and Spring, United Way volunteers pack bookbags with 4 books plus one coupon for a free book from Daniel Boone Regional Library, for approximately 650 kids. We are advancing equity in education by reaching kids who most need support.

Coaching for Literacy aims to raise awareness of and support solutions to the widespread problem of illiteracy. Using the power and influence of sports, the organization partners with teams across the country to host Fight for Literacy Games, which raise funds for grants to literacy-focused programs in their communities. Coaching for Literacy operates on the core belief that literacy is a fundamental right of every individual.

United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community to advance the common good. We work with residents and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive.