COMPTON – Los Angeles Dodgers longtime great pitcher Clayton Kershaw and his family met with 70 enthusiastic Emerson Elementary School second grade students and read a story to them.
As part of the seventh annual LA Reads Storytime program, hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LAFD), along with Think Together, Kershaw’s wife Ellen read the book “Bigger Than Me” by Ann Higginbottom, while Clayton turned the book’s pages and showed kids the pictures.
The book is the story of a little boy named Charley growing up following his dad – a professional baseball player – who begins to realize that his story, his family’s story, must have a greater purpose. Charley’s story invites boys and girls to consider how the things they love and do might be used to tell an even bigger story.
“Baseball is such a wonderful gift that I’ve been fortunate enough to get to play for a long time now,” said Kershaw. “And with that you have such a great platform to be able to impact a lot of different people. That’s what the book is about it’s about – whatever you’re passionate about, whatever you love to do – making it a little bit bigger than just about you.”
After reading the book, Clayton answered questions for a few minutes and thanked the kids for listening. Every student left with a copy of the book, shirt, hat, and tickets to a Dodgers game.
Kershaw enjoyed interacting with the Emerson students. “We had a great time. It was a lot of fun to hear the kiddos talk about what they love to do. They’re awesome. It’s just so much fun to get to interact with them.”
LA Reads is a joint literacy program designed to motivate youth to build a lifelong love of reading, with engaging programs and educational resources throughout the year that support literacy and make reading fun for everyone.
“We recognize that education is such an important space and topic today and we want to support our youth,” said Manny Aceves, Chief Program Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “Today is the kind of day that makes education special. The kids were so excited when Clayton and his family walked in, and the joy of learning and reading was part of today.”
LA Reads recently surpassed five-million minutes “read” since its launch, has distributed nearly 20,000 books, and LADF has granted more than $1.4 million to literacy-focused organizations over the last 10 years.