CHICAGO, April 11 -- The NBA, Chicago Bulls and IBM unveiled a newly finished Reading and Learning Center at the Martin Luther King Boys & Girls Club today. NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier was on-hand to help unveil the Reading and Learning Center and conduct a special reading event with the young boys and girls of the Center. He was joined by, Bulls Executive Vice President of Business Operations Steve Schanwald, the Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley and former Bulls great, Bob Love.

As part of the NBA’s Read to Achieve Program, the NBA teamed with the Bulls, IBM’s Teaming for Technology program and Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.® (RIF) to complete the Reading and Learning Center which will provide the community with donated books, resource guides and reference materials. In addition, IBM has provided educational software, personal computers and training as part of its Teaming for Technology initiative.

The Martin Luther King Boys & Girls Club’s Reading and Learning Center is the latest created by the NBA’s Read to Achieve program. In an effort to provide access to reading materials and technology to young people and as a part of its national reading campaign, the NBA and its teams plan to create Reading and Learning centers across North America as well as donate more than 250,000 free books to schools and community organizations.

Since its beginning in 1997, IBM’s Teaming for Technology has provided direct benefits to more than 5,000 community-based nonprofit organizations in 17 cities across the US, and technology training to more than 2.5 million young people.

The NBA’s Read to Achieve program is a year-round campaign designed to help young people develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly to children. Efforts include the annual donation of more than 250,000 books through a variety of reading events and book fairs, as well as the development of essay contests and on-line programs. Read to Achieve is supported by the entire NBA Family including the NBA, WNBA and the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), the NBA's officials, parents and wives of players and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.