The Los Angeles Lakers are dedicated to promoting the importance of education to the students in Los Angeles area. Through programs such as Read to Achieve, Staples Student/Educator of the Month Award, Freedom Through My Eyes Art/Essay Contest, East West Bank's Lakers Net Investment and the Chick Hearn Scholarship Award the Lakers work closely with local colleges, elementary, middle, and high schools to honor those who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements in the classroom and beyond.
Sponsored by Staples, the Student and Educator of the Month program allows schools in the Los Angeles area to nominate outstanding faculty members and students for a chance to be invited to and recognized at a Lakers home game.
Lakers "Be A Champion... and Read" Reading Challenge is open to local elementary schools and has encouraged over 208,000 students to read for Lakers prizes and tickets. All participants receive a Lakers reading log and bookmark. First and second grade students are challenged to read for 15 minutes per day, three times per week. While, third, fourth and fifth graders are challenged to read six chapter books in a six week period. Students who complete the challenge receive a prize, a certificate of completion and are entered into a drawing to win two tickets to a Lakers game. Classrooms with a 100% completion rate are eligible to win Grand Prizes such as an ice cream party with Lakers players or game tickets for the entire classroom.
The "Freedom Through My Eyes" art/essay contest encourages Los Angeles middle school students to explore the meaning of liberty and our nation's symbols of freedom. Students enter by submitting an essay and artwork expressing what freedom meant to them. Five lucky winners are invited on an exciting 4 day/3 night trip to Washington D.C..
The Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to two USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism students for furtherance of their work in sports broadcasting and journalism. Funding for the scholarship comes from an endowment that was established by the Los Angeles Lakers, Marge Hearn and hundreds of Lakers fans. The scholarship is awarded on Chick Hearn Night, an annual event that honors the legacy of Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died in 2002.