Written by The Business Journal Staff
An NBA player and Fresno native has donated thousands of dollars to the Fresno County Library to support programs to get more local children to read and to provide books for children living in lower income areas.
Robin Lopez, a Fresno Native, San Joaquin Memorial High School alum and current center for the Chicago Bulls, has given $8,000 to the Fresno County Public Library to support its Summer Reading Challenge, and was joined in efforts by his mother, Fresno County schoolteacher Deborah Ledford.
The donation was accepted at the July 10 meeting at the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and increased the program’s budget by 73 percent and will put more books into local children’s hands.
During the meeting, Lopez described a love of reading he developed at an early age and growing up surrounded by books. Lopez has supported literacy programs throughout his professional career. While playing for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2013-14, he received the team’s Maurice Lucas award for helping support the Portland Public Schools’ “Read Big” campaign.
“The Fresno County Public Library is grateful to have champions like Robin Lopez and Deborah Ledford helping get books into the hands of children,” said County Librarian Kelley Landano. “Putting a book in their hands is the first step in getting children to read.”