Stephen and Ayesha Curry have announced a new program to combat the childhood literacy gaps in Oakland, Calif. The couple‘s multimillion-dollar initiative is a product of the three-year partnership between their nonprofit foundation Eat. Learn. Play. and system software company Workday.
According to the foundation’s press release, Oakland’s literacy rates have been slow and incremental, with only 15.4% of Black and 12.5% of Latino/a elementary school students reading at grade level.
“We launched Eat. Learn. Play. in 2019 with the singular goal of reaching kids and families in the areas that are critical to their future success – what they eat, how much they learn, and access to sport,” expressed Stephen and Ayesha Curry in a joint statement.
“This year is the biggest investment we’ve made to date to support one of the pillars of our work, and we are so grateful for Workday’s partnership to help us bring this effort to life. Oakland kids, families, and teachers deserve the opportunity and resources to become proficient readers.”
“At Workday, we believe in supporting the communities where we live and work, and we admire the great efforts Stephen and Ayesha Curry and Eat. Learn. Play. are doing to provide vital resources for the local Oakland community,” added Aneel Bhusri, co-founder, co-CEO, and chairman, Workday. “We are a proud partner of this initiative and the positive impact it will bring to support childhood literacy in Oakland.”
The news was first announced during the second annual Workday Charity Classic, hosted by the Currys and Workday, at the Stanford Golf Course. Attended by athletes, celebrities, state and local leaders, and more, the event helped to raise money and awareness for this important cause.
Of the funds raised at the Workday Charity Classic, $1 million is set to go toward funding for teacher-led literacy projects in the Oakland Unified School District on the DonorsChoose platform. It follows the $1 million donation Eat. Learn. Play. made in December 2021 with the help of Workday.
Additionally, the raised funds will aid with providing 300,000 new books to kids and families as part of our effort to ignite a culture of literacy in Oakland, and Create a “State of Literacy Oakland” report in partnership with the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Oakland Literacy Coalition, and other community stakeholders.
Eat. Learn. Play. is also partnering with the Oakland Public Library, Oakland Literacy Coalition, and Black Cultural Zone to build and manage 150 Little Town Libraries across historically under-resourced Oakland communities. Plans include keeping the libraries stocked as well as inspiring children to read through frequent free book giveaways and events.