LOS ANGELES, June 6 – The NBA, Los Angeles Lakers and IBM opened a newly finished Reading and Learning Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood today in Los Angeles. LA Lakers Derek Fisher and Mark Madsen were on-hand to help open the Reading and Learning Center and conduct a special reading event with the young boys and girls of the club. Also on hand for today’s event was NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA stars Tracy Murray and Jarron Collins, NBA Hall of Famers Bob Lanier, James Worthy and Bill Walton, film and television actors Sean Patrick Thomas and Anthony Anderson, and the wives, mothers and fathers of several NBA players and coaches.

The Lakers' Derek Fisher was on hand for the reading event.
NBAE Photos
As part of the NBA’s Read to Achieve Program, the NBA teamed with the LA Lakers, IBM’s Teaming for Technology program, Scholastic and Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.® (RIF) to complete the Reading and Learning Center. The Center will provide the community with thousands of 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 Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood Reading and Learning Center is the latest created by the NBA’s Read to Achieve program. In its first full season Read to Achieve has provided access to reading materials and technology to children throughout North America. This season, the NBA and its teams have established more than 30 Reading and Learning and donated more than 350,000 books to children, schools and community organizations. In addition, NBA players, coaches and other members of the NBA family have read to more than 250,000 children.

“The children here couldn’t be more excited,” said Christine Brazil Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood. “They are excited not only to have the resources provided by the NBA, the Lakers and IBM, but also by the fact that all of these people have taken the time to share their joy of reading, this will benefit the children here for years to come.”

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 Los Angeles, 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.

“IBM is proud to be part of such a winning team,” said Bill Brown, IBM Los Angeles community relations manager. “Through programs like Teaming for Technology and Read to Achieve, the IBM and the NBA Families are working together to help provide access to the technology needed for today’s youth to achieve future success.”

The NBA’s Read to Achieve program is a year-round campaign to help young people develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly to children. Reaching an estimated 50 million children a year, Read to Achieve is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports. In addition to being supported by all 29 NBA teams, 16 WNBA teams, the eight teams that make up the NBA's new minor league, the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), Read to Achieve is supported by the NBA's officials, parents and wives of players organizations, and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.