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NBA star Stephen Curry and his wife Ayesha are putting the focus on empowering youth through education. The couple recently donated thousands of books to schools in Oakland, California, People reported.

The effort was led through the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation; a nonprofit the Currys co-founded that is centered on addressing food insecurity, promoting wellness, and eliminating socio-economic barriers that stand in the way of access to education. As part of the initiative, Steph and Ayesha distributed 1,000 boxes filled with books during their Christmas with the Currys event and sent 14,000 boxes to Oakland Unified Schools. They teamed up with Literati—a company that provides curated reading experiences for adults and children—and Felicis Ventures investor Aydin Senkut for the effort.

The Currys say they wanted to equip students with the tools needed to continue learning amid the pandemic. “We along with our entire team at Eat. Learn. Play. understand the importance of early childhood education, especially when it comes to literacy,” they said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Nothing is more basic, more essential, more foundational, or more important to a child’s success in life than the ability to read well. We know there is a lot of work to be done, but with partners like Literati, we’re hopeful that we will be able to make an impact on these children’s lives.”

Initiatives like the one being led by Steph and Ayesha are needed as the literacy gap has significantly impacted students of color in Oakland. Studies show only 18.6 percent of Black students who are a part of the Oakland Unified School District are reading on their grade level.

Several NBA players are paying it forward this holiday season. Miami Heat forward Moe Harkless donated rent money to families in New York City.

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