Miles Avenue Elementary School RTA

During the 2002-03 season, the Los Angeles Lakers adopted Miles Avenue Elementary School of Huntington Park and conducted a variety of the Read to Achieve components with the school.

As part of Read to Achieve week in October, a L.A.K.E.R. (Los Angeles Kids Enjoy Reading) Time Out was held at Miles Avenue Elementary School, where Kobe Bryant. Rick Fox, Mark Madsen, Tracy Murray and Assistant Coach Jim Cleamons made a surprise visit. Also on hand were the Laker Girls, Erlyn Madsen, and Candy and Robert Murray. After leading a Read to Achieve pep rally, fifty pre-selected students joined the surprise guests for some reading time. Each of the fifty kids was given a Lakers book bag with goodies and had the chance to get autographs from the Lakers and the Laker Girls.

Mark Madsen is joined by his mother, Erlyn, and Laker Girls Maniga and Lisa, during his reading time out.

In addition to being invited to take part in the Annual Reading Challenge, all fifth graders at the school were challenged to complete a chapter book within a month for another surprise. Each student was provided with his/her own copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but had the choice to pick any book. In November, the 200 fifth graders that completed the challenge received their surprise as they were bused to the Warner Bros. studio lot for a special screening of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” They walked the red carpet and received Lakers gift bags as they headed into the theater. There was one other big surprise for the students – as the movie was about to start, Kobe Bryant appeared on the stage to congratulate them for completing the challenge and joined them for a movie. To the Los Angeles Lakers and Their Fans:

On behalf of all our staff, parents, and students, we would like to extend our gratitude for the generosity and support for our school. We are overwhelmed with the excitement and amazement with all the wonderful books that we received. Many of the donors wrote many inspirational thoughts and messages in the books they donated. It is apparent that many of your fans devoted thought and effort when they selected books for our students.

I am confident our students will benefit from the wonderful literature that your organization and fans have provided our school. Once again, we thank your Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation for all the support it has provided Miles Avenue School. Sincerely,

Gilbert Gutierrez

Finally, on April 9, 2003 the Lakers Youth Foundation completed the final element of the READ TO ACHIEVE campaign at the grand opening of the Miles Avenue Elementary School library. Through the Wonder of Reading, the Lakers Youth Foundation adopted Miles Avenue Elementary School and contributed $40,000 to build a new three classroom library to accommodate the growing student population of 2,800 children. Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Mark Madsen were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.