RAIDER JUSTIN TUCK NAMED WEEK 2 NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP
Tuck’s “R.U.S.H for Literacy” Event Distributes Free Books to Nearly 400 Oakland Area Students
The NFLPA Community MVP recognizes players who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Each week, the NFLPA will celebrate one player who recently demonstrated his commitment to giving back to his community, and will make a donation to the player’s foundation or cause in support. The Week 2 NFLPA #CommunityMVP is the Oakland Raiders’ Justin Tuck for his Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy initiative. The defensive end, alongside his wife Lauran, kicked off their eighth season of service at Alliance Academy in Oakland, California with a book distribution to more than 300 students.
Two-time Super Bowl Champion Justin Tuck scored big with the Oakland community this past Monday with his Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy Kickoff event at Alliance Academy. Nearly 400 students joined Justin and Lauran Tuck to learn about the importance of literacy and its impact on academic success. Students and teachers engaged in conversations with the Tucks, discussing the topic of “What literacy means to them.”
“What teachers do is so important and they are so passionate, they inspire me. And to hear the kids talk about the books we gave them to read over the summer is awesome; they are back to school and ready,” Tuck said.
The Tucks took the opportunity to speak and take photos with students, using these moments to stress the importance of self-confidence and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Education as the Route to Economic Mobility
Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy is a non-profit aimed at providing resources and opportunities to low-income youth in an effort to promote literacy. Founded in 2008 by the Tucks, the foundation started small by distributing books and supporting materials to the community. Now in its eighth season of service, Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy has provided an estimated 14,000 children with books and supplied 86,000 books to seven middle schools in New York, New Jersey and Central Alabama. The organization has also given more than $600,000 in grant funding to literacy initiatives.
“Research tells us that education is the quickest route to economic mobility in this country. Education is an equalizer and the ability to read is the foundation of every education, that's why we began Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy eight years ago with a focus on literacy,” Tuck said. “Though we have done a few other projects in the education space through our organization over the years, literacy has remained a focus, specifically early literacy and summer learning loss.”
Starting Early: Financial Management and College Savings
Most recently, the Tucks’ non-profit has added initiatives focused on stemming summer learning loss and improving financial literacy amongst low-income youth. In the fall of 2013, in partnership with The Children’s Aid Society, The 1:1 Fund, and Citi Foundation, Justin and Lauran helped launched “CAS College Savers.” The program provides in-need New York City students with the necessary financial literacy education for creating college savings. According to their foundation’s resources, the Tucks chose this approach because of the extensive research supporting the positive relationship between college savings and college access: children with a college savings account in their own name are seven times more likely to go to college than children without an account.
“Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy has partnered with the 50 Fund, the Legacy Fund of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, to ensure that thousands of Bay Area kids have access to books and online learning support in the summer through a program called ‘The Read Zone.’ Last summer went well, and we are looking forward to next summer,” Tuck said.
This summer, the foundation gave middle school students at participating schools in California, New York, New Jersey and Alabama five new books each. Those texts were implemented into their fall curriculum and gave students the opportunity to participate in an essay contest with exciting prizes, including tickets to a Raiders home game and authentic memorabilia.
“Expanding my charity work to the Oakland community was easy, largely because the Raiders' organization has been so helpful and supportive,” Tuck said. “It's an honor to use the platform that the NFL provides to talk about education and to help close the opportunity gaps in the education space. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to help students and schools across the country.”
Get Involved, and Stay Connected
On upcoming events for Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy, the Raiders defensive end said: “We have a lot planned in the coming months. For example, October 22nd is Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, the world’s largest shared reading day, and we purchased copies of the book, ‘Not Norman’ to be distributed to families throughout the Bay Area so that they can participate.”
To learn more about Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy, please visit:
Visit the NFLPA Community MVP page for more information: https://www.nflpa.com/campaign/community-mvp
2015 NFLPA Community MVPs:
Week 1: Sam Barrington (Green Bay Packers)
-- Giordanna Easley