NEW YORK — Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris has been honored with the NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente for the month of October in recognition of his efforts to improve literacy and education outcomes, the NBA today announced. Each month of the regular season the award recognizes a player who best demonstrates the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.
As part of his Tobias Lit Labs campaign, an initiative that brings diverse books and authors to schools and families launched in 2019, Harris partnered with Read by 4th to host a Book Block Party on Oct. 17 in North Philadelphia. The free festival highlighted the importance of building home literacy habits, brought thousands of diverse books to youth and families in the community and connected them with local literacy resources. As part of the festival, Harris invited special guest and award-wining author Kelly Starling Lyons and provided thousands of copies of her book, Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon, to attendees at no cost. Freelon is a Philadelphia native and was the architect of the iconic National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
“The Tobias Lit Labs campaign is great because it helps kids get excited about reading and further builds their vocabulary and knowledge,” said Harris. “I love books and it’s a blessing to share this passion and help kids get access to books from diverse backgrounds.”
Harris’ support of educational equity extends beyond Philadelphia to his native Long Island, Orlando, Haiti and South Africa. Through the Tobias Harris Charitable Fund, he has contributed more than $2 million in addition to donating classroom supplies and supporting professional development for educators and students, ensuring all are equipped with the necessary tools to learn every day. Harris also serves on the Board of Directors for the NBA Foundation, which was created by the 30 NBA teams to invest in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities for Black youth.
Harris will be presented with the award tomorrow prior to the 76ers home game against the Golden State Warriors (8:30 p.m. ET on ABC) by 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris. The NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $10,000 on Harris’ behalf to the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, Inc., the 501(c)(3) arm of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., which provides grants for community projects, scholarships, after-school programs and more.
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece. To learn more, please visit https://communityassist.nba.com/.