NEW YORK, April 11 – The NBA, Detroit Pistons and IBM unveiled a newly finished Reading and Learning Center at the St. James PAL Activity Center today. Pistons players including Jerry Stackhouse, Michael Curry, Corliss Williamson and Rodney White were 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. The players were joined by NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, Pistons President Tom Wilson, PAL Commanding Officer Lieutenant Donald Wilson and the Detroit Police Chief Jerry Oliver.

Pistons forward Corliss Williamson and friend at the opening of the Reading and Learning Center.
(NBAE Photos)
As part of the NBA’s Read to Achieve Program, the NBA teamed with the Pistons, 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.

“There is nothing that you can’t achieve when you are armed with the right tools,” said Stackhouse. “Developing a life-long love of reading and having access to the kind of technology IBM has donated will provide these children the tools necessary for future success.”

The St. James PAL Activity Center’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.

“PAL's focus is to build relationships between police officers and the community and to help young people prepare for the future,” said Lieutenant Donald Wilson, Commander of the St. James PAL. “The contributions of the NBA, Pistons and IBM will help us to deliver better services to our youth and assist them in developing competitive personal and computer skills and provide access to information they may have never obtained.”

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. In The Bay Area, through partnerships with The United Way of the Bay Area and Ameri*Corp Vista, Teaming for Technology is increasing technology capacity for nonprofit agencies by helping them create technology plans, install computers, and train their staff in the use of technology.

"The IBM corporation is delighted to partner with the Detroit Pistons and Detroit's Police Athletic League,” said William Luse, IBM Senior Location Executive. “Together, we are working toward improving the reading and computer skills of the youth in metropolitan Detroit."

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.