Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy Kickoff
Justin Tuck launched the seventh season of his charity initiative, Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy, on September 16, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Alliance Academy in Oakland. Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy was founded in 2008 by Lauran and Justin Tuck to bring the same opportunities that made them successful to low-income youth in New York, New Jersey, Alabama and now the Bay Area. Focused on literacy, the program began with a simple book distribution, and then grew to include an essay contest and supporting materials, as well as grantmaking. As of the 2013-2014 school year, the program began to focus on summer learning loss–a critical issue for low-income youth–and financial literacy, as success in both areas increases the likelihood that a child will attend college. Since its inception, Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy has placed over 77,000 books in 13,000 students’ hands, and given more than $320,000 in grants.
The annual kickoff event held this year in Tuck’s new team city of Oakland, brought together 400 middle school students from the Alliance Academy, allowing Tuck to speak to the kids about the importance of reading and writing. It provided an opportunity for the students to meet Lauran and Justin Tuck, and to learn what literacy means to them. Additionally, the children received gift bags with new age-appropriate books, Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy shirts and wristbands and stickers provided by Scholastic, Jensen Wholesale Sports, and Deuce Brand. Scholastic author, Mike Jung from Northern California and author of Geeks, Girls & Secret Identities, was the featured speaker and spoke to the students about his school experiences and how this led him to becoming an author for Scholastic.
Middle school students at the participating schools in Oakland, New York, New Jersey, and Alabama received five new books to read over the summer. These books will be integrated into the classroom this fall and students will be invited to submit essays based on their readings. This year’s essay contest invites students to reflect on confidence- what it means to them, how to be confident and relate to the books they read. The best essayist from Alliance Academy and Alabama will be invited to attend the Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills home game on December 21, 2014, and the best essayist from the Tri-State will win a signed piece of memorabilia. The program continues through the school year, as kids read and track their progress. The classroom with the highest percentage of submitted essays will win a visit from Tuck at the end of the 2014-’15 school year
For more information, check out this article on the Raiders website!