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Craft helps promote reading

The Jaguars Foundation and Jaguars cornerback Jason Craft are teaming up with Jax Reads! to promote reading. Jax Reads! has taken the example from other cities from New York to Seattle to read a book in common and gather together with others in discussion groups at public libraries, bookstores and other sites to discuss the book.

The first book chosen is the classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee. Craft has been asked by Jax Read! to be the Jaguars representative in promoting the initiative. He also recommended reading the book in the Jaguars Foundation's new edition of The Official Playbooks 2002 - 2003, to be published in early September. Playbooks highlights the Jaguars favorite books to encourage children and adults to use the library and read.

The Jaguars Foundation also provided a $2,000 grant to the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation to support Jax Reads!, including printing and distributing 5,000 student study guides to schools and purchasing books for intergenerational discussion groups with high school students and senior citizens.

In addition to the Jax Reads! project, Jaguars players, members of The ROAR, JAXSON de VILLE, coaches and staff serve as role models to encourage children and parents to read; visiting schools, libraries and agencies.

The Foundation's literacy initiative includes The Official Playbooks and the Playbooks website, ; and by providing support through grantmaking. Nearly $300,000, one third of all the Foundation's grants in the past year, was awarded to programs that involve reading and literacy.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" was selected for the city of Jacksonville because of the social issues it addresses, such as racism, classism and justice. The novel is set in a small town in the south and written from the perspective of Scout, the young daughter of an attorney and single father, Atticus Finch, who defends an accused man and teaches his children lessons in courage and morality along the way. Lee won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for the book.

For more information about the Jax Reads! program log on to or call (904)741-3777

To learn more about the Foundation's literacy initiative log on to or

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