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Ole Miss and C Spire Join Forces in Supporting Coaching for Literacy Program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (January 27, 2016) – The Ole Miss basketball program and men’s Head Coach Andy Kennedy are once again partnering with C Spire to support effective local elementary and middle school literacy programs through the Coaching for Literacy’s Assistant Coach Program.

This marks the third-consecutive year Ole Miss has participated in Coaching for Literacy’s Assistant Coach Program, and this season the Rebels are joined by 17 other NCAA programs and the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

This year’s Coaching for Literacy Assistant Coach game is scheduled for Feb. 23, when the Rebels host Southeastern Conference foe Missouri at the new Pavilion at Ole Miss.

Funds will be 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 donation will have a chance to win two all-access passes for the Ole Miss-Missouri game that includes courtside seats, locker room access, attendance for the postgame press conference, autographed memorabilia, a picture with Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy and college specific attire provided by CFL partner Peter Millar.

“We are excited to once again partner with Coaching for Literacy in order to bring attention and support to a very worthy cause," Kennedy, said. "The ability to read and write at a productive level is the foundation from which all success is achieved. Coaching for Literacy’s mission is to aid in this fundamental skill and we wanted to be involved in that pursuit.”

The goal of the initiative is to use the power of sports to raise awareness about the problem of illiteracy and generate funds for Mississippi-based literacy programs like Leap Frog, Barksdale Reading Institute and Mississippi Children’s Museum. According to the U.S Department of Education, one in five high school graduates in America are functionally illiterate.

Combining the collective influence of C Spire and Ole Miss Athletics helps raise awareness about a critical issue facing our state – illiteracy,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company. “We’re proud to work with Coaching for Literacy and the Ole Miss Rebels to create a brighter future for the children in our communities.”

Last season, Coaching for Literacy’s Ole Miss chapter, a dedicated group of University of Mississippi students, helped raise over $15,000 to support literacy efforts in Mississippi through the Assistant Coach Program. “Coaching for Literacy is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with Ole Miss in the nationwide Fight for Literacy,” said Ryan Viner, Executive Director of Coaching for Literacy. “The collective support of C Spire, Ole Miss Basketball, Andy Kennedy, the Ole Miss CFL Collegiate Chapter and the entire student body sets a fine example for others to follow.”

For more information or to support Coaching for Literacy’s program, visit the website at http://www.coachingforliteracy.org/ole-miss-basketball-collegiate-chapter.