Ignorance and poverty are the “Root Causes” of a host of social problems that confront students daily. When students can’t read proficiently by the 4th grade, they are more likely to wind up on welfare or in prison. According to the latest US Census Bureau report, 46.2 million people live in poverty; an increase of 2.6 million since 2009. The number of people over 16 who did not work at least one week increased from 83.3 million in 2009 to 86.7 million last year. Child poverty rose to 22%, from 20.7%, meaning more than 1 in 5 children in America are living in poverty. 7,000 drop out of school daily. 50 million adults can’t read above a 4th or 5th grade level; 8 out of 10 in prison are H.S. dropouts and almost 7 out of 10 return to prison upon their release. In NYC it costs $158,000 to graduate a student from grades 1-12 and $240,000 to incarcerate a juvenile offender annually. The facts confirm there is a correlation between Education and Incarceration and when students are deprived of a quality education, the door opens to the ‘School to Prison Pipeline’. The Department of Justice states, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.”
The Read 2 Succeed through Hip-Hop & Basketball launch was a huge success. It was a historic event for William E. Grady High School and Coach Avery was amazed by the professional manner in which the Alpha Obama Club greeted and hosted the press conference and youth summit. According to Principal Maione, “Music and sports are forerunners to education in today’s society. I tell my students that they must be scholars before athletes and artists. The HHSYC and Coach Avery have figured out a very creative way to merge these influential art forms with education through the launch of the Read 2 Succeed through Hip-Hop & Basketball After-school Program. I embrace and support this initiative and look forward to its official launch in October.”
“Hip-Hop and Basketball have a tremendous impact on our youth and young adults. Through this unique “Slam Dunk” Collaboration between Music & Sports, we have an opportunity to use this double-edged sword to provide students with additional resources to fulfill their personal and academic goals. I want to thank Coach Johnson for being a man of his word and giving his time and talent to make a difference in the lives of the students he addressed during the Summit. I'm truly excited about the prospects of working with the Coach, the Nets and the entire NBA to educate and empower our youth and young adults.” stated Charles Fisher, Chairman of the HHSYC.
Through a 10 Prong approach, which includes our Hot Hip-Hop Books, Book Club, Coach Commandments, and a host of prizes and incentives, we see a unique opportunity to use positive Artists and Athletes to help students graduate from school, obtain meaningful employment, improve their Character and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. “Working with Coach Johnson, who is a winner on and off the court, and using the Coach Commandments to enhance the Character of students, will allow us to use positive Artists and Athletes to help students become successful tax-paying, law-abiding citizens.” said Randy Fisher, Executive Director of the HHSYC.
“I’m thrilled and excited to be part of the Read 2 Succeed program. I’ve always been involved with organizations that are assets to the community. The students that will be impacted by this program will be able to say no to drugs, dream bigger dreams and achieve greater success.” stated Avery Johnson, Head Coach of the New Jersey Nets.
About the HHSYC (hhsyc.org)
The HHSYC was founded by Charles Fisher in July of 2001, who is also the former manager of LL Cool J, the Lost Boyz and co-discovered R. Kelly. The organization was created to help implement the commitments, guidelines and policies made by record companies, artists, community leaders and elected officials at the 2001 Hip-Hop Summit which was held in New York City. After attending the historic event, Fisher felt a need to establish an advocacy group that would work towards meeting Hip-Hop's most important challenges, which are to improve the image and unity within the Hip-Hop community and to show participants how to constructively use their time, talent and the Hip-Hop culture to improve social, political and economic conditions in their school, home and community. Randy Fisher is the organization’
About Coach Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson is entering his second season as head coach of the Nets, having been named to the position on June 15, 2010. Johnson came to the Nets with a 194-70 (.735) career coaching record, having led the Dallas Mavericks to the postseason in each of his three-plus seasons as head coach. As a head coach, he holds the highest winning percentage in NBA history and set the record for reaching the 150 win plateau the fastest (191 games). In 2005-06, Johnson led the Mavericks to their first ever appearance in the NBA Finals en route to earning NBA ‘Coach of the Year’ honors.
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