Kansas City Public Schools honored Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, his Defend the Dream Foundation and Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, as Community Champions for their work to open unique and inspiring reading oasis’ for students. KCPS uses the Community Champions award to recognize the outstanding contributions made by organizations in education and individual volunteers.
Interim Superintendent Al Tunis and the Board of Directors recognized Johnson, the foundation, and Scholastic Book Fairs during the Board’s Wednesday, Nov. 18 meeting at the KCPS central office, 1211 McGee St. in Kansas City, Mo.
Through his Defend the Dream Foundation, with the support of Scholastic Book Fairs and in collaboration with KCPS, Johnson has opened his “D.J.’s Discover Dens” at Crispus Attucks, Banneker and Satchel Paige elementary schools over the previous year. The dens are decorated with Chiefs colors, Derrick Johnson posters and comfortable spots to read, and they come stocked with 1,200 new, age-appropriate books provided by Scholastic Book Fairs, through The Scholastic Possible Fund. Johnson has indicated it is his intention to open dens in every Title I elementary school in Kansas City.
Johnson established the Defend the Dream Foundation in order to provide the resources urban youth need to achieve their goals. Learn more at derrickjohnson56.org. Visit www.scholastic.com to learn more about Scholastic’s extensive efforts in social responsibility.
Visit www.kcpublicschools.org/Partners to learn how to become a partner with or volunteer for KCPS.