ATLANTA, GA, November 30, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/
-- While Dwight Howard is well known for his ability to protect the paint on the basketball court and recently joined his hometown Atlanta Hawks as starting center, few are familiar with his role as an advocate for early childhood education and literacy. Despite his imposing stature and willingness to use it on the court, Howard is also a pro when comes to getting down to a child's size to share a book.
For the second year, the Hawks' #8 is releasing "GR8 Kids' Reads" - a list of recommended children's books he says will make wonderful gifts. "At Christmas, I love giving toys - but by helping kids read, you're giving a gift that gives forever. Christmas is a special time to enjoy a book with your child."
While playing in Houston, Howard formed a friendship with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation - and the First Lady herself. "Mrs. Bush and her family have helped a lot of people understand how important it is for kids to be able to read and for us to read to our kids. When I sit down to read to kids, some might know I'm a basketball player but - especially the little kids - just want me to crack open that book and start reading to them."
Howard will have several chances to do just that during this holiday season when he hosts kids from an Atlanta Boys and Girls Club program for his "3-Point Santa Project." At a private event, the kids will select titles from Howard's booklist as well as shop for clothing and shoes (provided by Dillard's) and toys and games from Target. "Christmas should be about the wishes kids have but we're also making sure our guests receive school clothes and pajamas and so on. I love seeing how excited they get about getting their very own books. That's the '3-Point' part: wishes, needs, and really GR8 reads.' Each should have a place on a child's Christmas list."
In addition to his work on early childhood education and literacy, through his foundation Howard partners on programs to prevent bullying, provide education for young women in East Africa, and work to encourage youth to pursue their potential within.
"Gr8 Books to Give Kids for the Holidays"
Give a Child You Love the Ultimate Gift - The Gift of Reading!
Always the Right Size, Never Out of Style, No Need for Batteries! Keeps giving forever!
Ages 0-3 (Infant/Toddler)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Jr.
Farm, by James Brown
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, by Eileen Christelow
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
*We're Different, We're the Same, by Bobbi Kates
Ages 4-5 (Pre-K-Kindergarten)
Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst
*Big Hair, Don't Care, by Crystal Swain-Bates
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, by Mo Willems
Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, by Carol Aebersold & Chanda Bell
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Ages 6-7 (1st -2nd Grade)
Amelia Bedelia: First Day of School, by Herman Parish
Christopher Counting, by Valeri Gorbachev
Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel
*Grandfather Gandhi, by Arun Gandhi
Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook, by Barbara Park
Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne
Miss Nelson Is Missing, by Harry G. Allard
*Uptown, by Bryan Collier
Ages 8-9 (3rd-4th Grade)
Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, by Lincoln Peirce
Bink and Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo
*Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, by Jacqueline Briggs-Martin
Geronimo and the Gold Medal Mystery, by Geronimo Stilton
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, by Lauren Tarshis
Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar
The Adventures of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
Ages 10-12 (5th-6th Grade)
*14 Cows for America, by Carmen Agra Deedy
City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, by Jeff Kinney
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not So Fabulous Life, by Rachel Renee Russell
Spy Cat, by Peg Kehret
The Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Ren Wright
* Book features positive multi-cultural messaging
Starting Center for the Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard has built an impressive record, on and off the court:
- he has been recognized 3 times as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- is a Gold Medal Olympian
- is a 4-time recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award;
- he was the winner of the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Off the court, he is passionate about directly serving the community and connecting to kids. Whether he is visiting with and mentoring incarcerated youth or spending time reading to kids struggling with literacy, Dwight is "hands on." He is a 6-time winner of the DeVos Community Enrichment Award and through his own charitable foundation he has created a variety of initiatives and partnerships with charitable organizations around the globe. He champions anti-bullying activities, makes education more accessible for young women in East Africa, and work to encourage youth to find their great potential within, through service and education. Howard is proud to serve as Honorary Chair of "Generation Ali," an initiative of the Muhammad Ali Center. To learn more about his foundation go to: www.D12Foundation.org