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Ole Miss and C Spire Join Forces Again to Support Coaching for Literacy Program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (February 8, 2017) – The Ole Miss men’s basketball program and Head Coach Andy Kennedy are once again partnering with C Spire and Coaching for Literacy to raise awareness about the importance of literacy and generate funds for Mississippi-based literacy initiatives.

The Rebels, who are participating for the fourth consecutive year, are among 20 NCAA programs participating in the program, including fellow SEC members Mississippi State University, University of Alabama and Vanderbilt University.

Ole Miss will host a Coaching for Literacy game on Feb. 25 with the Rebels take on the Missouri Tigers at The Pavilion in Oxford. The Saturday afternoon game will tip off at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN’s SEC Network.

“Both our student body and fans always enjoy participating in this initiative,” Kennedy said. “Ole Miss is proud to partner with Coaching for Literacy and C Spire to raise awareness about the problem of illiteracy in our state.”

Big Impact on Mississippi Literacy Efforts

In 2016, over 1,000 Ole Miss students helped raise $13,000 for Mississippi literacy efforts. Funds are generated by a raffle coordinated by the Coaching for Literacy Ole Miss collegiate chapter, a group comprised of 30 University of Mississippi students.

All students who make a $10 donation will have a chance to win two all-access passes for the Ole Miss-Missouri game, including courtside seats, locker room access, attendance at the post-game press conference, autographed memorabilia, a photograph with Kennedy and college specific attire provided by CFL partner Peter Millar.

Funds raised through the program will help support several Mississippi literacy programs, including the Leap Frog Program, Barksdale Reading Institute and the Mississippi Children’s Museum.

“C Spire is proud to partner with Coaching for Literacy and Ole Miss Athletics to focus attention on and provide financial support for a critical issue impacting our students – illiteracy,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company. “We know this joint effort benefits our community for generations to come.”

Join the Rebels in the Fight for Literacy

Ole Miss Athletics invites all fans to join the effort by following Coaching for Literacy on Twitter @coachingforlit and using the hashtag #CSpire4Literacy. C Spire will donate $1 to Mississippi literacy initiatives for every tweet with #CSpire4Literacy. For promotion guidelines and details, go to www.coachingforliteracy/olemissexperience. To learn more about how you can join the Ole Miss Rebels and Fight for Literacy in your community, go to www.coachingforliteracy.org.

Importance of Literacy

  • 64% of fourth graders are reading below the proficient level. (National Assessment of Educational Progress)
  • Literacy can help reduce the rate of crime in all of our communities (85% of juveniles who enter the juvenile court system cannot read (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • Literacy can help with America’s debt problem and put more money in everyone’s pocket. Illiteracy costs businesses and taxpayers $200 billion a year and adds $230 billion annually in healthcare costs (Communities in Schools)

“We are incredibly thankful for C Spire’s support in involving Ole Miss fans this year,” said Ryan Viner, executive director of Coaching for Literacy. “Because of C Spire, the Ole Miss athletic department and Coach Kennedy, more people will know about the importance of literacy and how to be a part of the solution.”

About Coaching for Literacy
Thanks to the support of sports teams and generous donors, Coaching for Literacy has funded over 50 literacy projects across 20 communities in 11 states. To date, 7,610 children have received direct literacy support because of the program.

About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class customer-inspired service and a superior comprehensive suite of wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.