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Champions for Literacy and SMU Quarterback Preston Stone Team Up for Youth Football Camps and Reading Advocacy in Dallas

The free skills camps on July 9 and 10 will bring young athletes together from across the city in partnership with local non-profits Behind Every Door and Mercy Street

DALLAS, June 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Champions for Literacy, a leading non-profit leveraging the power of sports to impact childhood literacy, announced today it is teaming up with SMU quarterback and Dallas-native Preston Stone to host two free football camps for Dallas youth on July 9 and 10 at the Cedar Crest Community Center in South Oak Cliff. In partnership with local non-profits Behind Every Door and Mercy Street, the United For Dallas camps will create unique leadership opportunities for middle and high school athletes from across Dallas to inspire reading in their communities.

Champions for Literacy
Champions for Literacy

"We're spearheading a movement of empowering top athletes to inspire lifelong readers and drive positive change in communities across the country," said Jason Baker, Executive Director of Champions for Literacy. "Childhood literacy requires holistic community support, and we're thrilled to partner with Preston, Behind Every Door and Mercy Street on these upcoming camps."

"I am excited to bring together young athletes of all different backgrounds from across Dallas and share my passion for both football and literacy to help equip and inspire these students," said Preston Stone, a 2020 Texas High School State Champion and current SMU quarterback.

As part of the partnership, Champions for Literacy will make a grant to support current and future literacy programs for elementary school students at Behind Every Door and Mercy Street.

"These camps are a great example of how organizations can work together to build pathways of hope in our community, and we're thrilled our new Cedar Crest Community Center can be leveraged in this way," said Darrion Lewis, President & CEO of Behind Every Door. "We are grateful for the support of Champions for Literacy as reading is a significant focus of our programming. Studies strongly correlate literacy with cascading effects on the life trajectory of a child, and we're excited about the lifelong impact these camps will have on the kids in our community."

"At Mercy Street, we are working to create a multicultural, multiethnic, multigenerational movement of people that work together to improve our city, and we're excited about how this camp will help bring that vision to life as athletes of different backgrounds come together around a common love of football while bringing awareness to the importance of literacy," said Carlton Oby, President & CEO of Mercy Street.

The July 9 camp will feature a small group of Behind Every Door and Mercy Street program participants and public registration for the camp on Wednesday, July 10 is open to boys and girls ages 11-18. The camp will run from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the newly renovated Behind Every Door Cedar Crest Community Center.

To register a participant for the July 10 camp, click here.

About Champions for Literacy
Founded in 2013 by two high school athletes, Champions for Literacy is a non-profit that uses the power of sports to impact childhood reading by promoting the importance of literacy, fundraising for effective literacy programs, and harnessing the status of athletes to inspire kids to become great readers. The organization has worked with over 150 college athletic programs and professional sports teams to impact over 95,000 kids and drive positive change across the nation by igniting an interest in literacy and inspiring lifelong readers. Learn more at

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United for Dallas Football Camp 2024
United for Dallas Football Camp 2024

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SOURCE Champions for Literacy