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December 21, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (December 17, 2015) – Coaching for Literacy (CFL) is honored to announce a partnership with the Washington Wizards through its Assistant Coach Program.

The Wizards are the first NBA franchise to take part in the initiative and join 18 NCAA programs in the 2015-2016 Assistant Coach Program line-up.

The Wizards will host CFL’s Assistant Coach Program twice this season. The first effort will take place on Jan. 16 when the Wizards host the Boston Celtics. The second event will be on March 23 when the Atlanta Hawks travel to the Verizon Center to take on the Wizards. This collaborative initiative will raise critical awareness about the problem of illiteracy in America and generate financial support for literacy work in the DC community.

CFL’s Assistant Coach Program presents a unique approach to philanthropy. The Wizards provide two premium tickets to Coaching for Literacy for two particular games. CFL then gives Wizards fans the opportunity to make a donation to local literacy efforts in exchange for the premium tickets. The donors enjoy an amazing experience with their favorite team and CFL allocates the funds to its local literacy partner – Everybody Wins! D.C.

“I’m extremely proud that the Wizards are the first professional sports franchise to join the Coaching for Literacy initiative,” said Ted Leonsis, Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder, chairman, majority owner and CEO. “Our employees have been actively involved with Everybody Wins! D.C for 15 years, and we understand the valuable implications of teaching children to read and to read for pleasure. Reading is not only important, but it’s also fun – and fun for everyone.”

The premium experience for both games with the Washington Wizards includes courtside seating, access to the Etihad Airways Lounge and the AK Lounge for complimentary food and beverages, and CFL themed apparel from Peter Millar. To learn more about this opportunity to support D.C.-based literacy initiatives and receive the Assistant Coach Program experience refer to the Assistant Coach Program pages for the following games: Wizards vs. Celtics and Wizards vs. Hawks.

“We are glad to be the first professional sports team to join CFL,” said Ted Leonsis, Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder, chairman, majority owner, chief executive officer. “Our organization is actively involved with Everybody Wins! D.C and believe in the impact that they are making in our community.”

Everybody Wins! DC (EW!DC) is a non profit organization devoted to promoting children’s literacy and a love of learning through shared reading experiences with caring individuals. The mission of EW!DC is to pair students with reading mentors to instill a love of reading and learning and foster a sense of self-esteem. The ideas behind the mission remain simple and straightforward, yet can bring about profound change in the lives of young students: expose children to literature, give them a positive role model, inspire them to read and you will make a difference in their lives. Wizards and Monumental Sports & Entertainment staff participate in the EW!DC Power Lunch Program.

“We are thrilled with this new partnership opportunity and honored to be selected by Coaching for Literacy,” said Mary Salander, executive director of Everybody Wins! DC. “Funds raised will allow Everybody Wins! DC to put new books directly into the hands of the low-income elementary school students we serve – a win-win for all!”

The mission of Coaching for Literacy is to increase awareness about the number of people in America who are functionally or totally illiterate and the social problems associated with illiteracy. By leveraging the unique power of collegiate and professional sports, Coaching for Literacy raises money to support effective local literacy programs and schools focused on educating elementary and middle school students.

“Coaching for Literacy is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Washington Wizards in support of literacy efforts in D.C.,” said Jonathan Wilfong, co-founder of Coaching for Literacy. “We are encouraged that the Wizards’ franchise is utilizing its influence to bring light to the importance of nationwide literacy activism.”