Reading Tree gets an Assist from Buckets

(PHOENIX, April 22, 2008) – Buckets Blakes of the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters spoke to 40 kids at the Arizona Cardinals Preparatory Academy this week about the importance of reading, and he helped Reading Tree provide the Academy’s students with free books. The books were part of a larger donation of 4,000 books given by Reading Tree to Communities In Schools of Arizona.

“The Harlem Globetrotters travel all over the world, and we get to read about those places before we get there,” Buckets told the students. “Books can take your mind to different places too, no matter where you are, even if you’re just sitting in your room reading.”

Reading Tree, a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide children with books who otherwise have limited or no access to them, is in the process of starting a book collection program in Phoenix that will continuously benefit students with quarterly book donations. Reading Tree will soon have book collection bins in Fry’s Food Stores parking lots in the Phoenix metro area and will donate children’s books in good condition to Communities In Schools of Arizona for distribution to students. Reading Tree has donated over seven million books worldwide since its inception in 2000.

The Arizona Cardinals Preparatory Academy is one of 20 schools that will be receiving books through the donation. The Academy is a small school learning environment created in partnership with the Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix, Washington Elementary School District and Communities In Schools of Arizona.

Buckets, a Phoenix native in his sixth season with the Globetrotters, has participated in book donations with Reading Tree in other U.S. states as well.

“I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to see the positive impact of the Reading Tree program during my travels with the Globetrotters,” says Buckets. “It was fun to meet the kids of the Academy, and I am grateful for the chance to give back to students in my hometown.”