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Winnick Family Foundation Grant to Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relations Committee Will Help Expand Program

Green Makes The Jewish Federation His Philanthropic Home

LOS ANGELES, CA. MAY 31, 2000 Los Angeles Dodger Shawn Green will go to bat to promote KOREH L.A.: The Los Angeles Jewish Coalition for Literacy, a program of The Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relations Committee; it was announced today by Todd Morgan, Chairman of the Board, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and John Fishel, President of JFLA, at a press conference at Dodger Stadium.

The announcement of Shawn Green's commitment to become the official spokesperson for the KOREH L.A. reading program was cheered by Shalhevet High School student volunteers and their 1st grade reading partners from Carthay Center Elementary School who today celebrated the completion of the year-long program. Green congratulated the children for their efforts and pledged to support the program, which will be expanded over the next five years, thanks to a grant of $100,000 per year for up to five years, presented by Karen Winnick of The Winnick Family Foundation.

In addition, Green has selected the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles as his philanthropic home.

``Returning to Los Angeles fulfills a longtime goal. Being in my own community inspires me to play my best and help where I can. I am going to work with KOREH L.A. because being a skilled reader is important for everyone, especially children. I am grateful to the Jewish Federation for this opportunity to make a difference," said Green.

``The Jewish community of Los Angeles is committed to improving the lives of our city's children. It's a challenge that takes tremendous effort and we thank Shawn Green, whose commitment to this goal makes him more than a world class athlete, but a hero to those who know that nothing gives children a better chance at success than a good education, which begins with reading," stated Morgan. ``We also thank Karen Winnick and The Winnick Family Foundation whose generous donation will aid our goal to double the size of the program within the next 12 months, and continue to grow thereafter."

Since KOREH L.A. Literacy Program (``Koreh" is the Hebrew word for ``read") was launched last fall, more than 600 volunteers have been recruited, trained and placed in over 30 LA Unified School District schools. Volunteers make a weekly time commitment for the school year to be a reading partner to a child attending first through fourth grade. Volunteers assist students who are identified to be reading below grade level. Those lending their time range from individual adults, to youth groups, as well as entire upper grade classes whose school curriculum embraces the program. The immediate goal is to double the size of the program within the coming year.

 Participating in the announcement were Osias Goren, Chairman of the Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relations Committee, Deborah Kattler Kupez, Chairman of the KOREH L.A. Program and Annette Shapiro, President of the Jewish Community Foundation which funded the program's first year. Also present were William Bernstein, Executive Vice President of JFLA, Michael Hirshfeld, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relations Committee and Elaine Albert, Director, KOREH L.A.

KOREH L.A. was started in response to the America Reads Challenge initiated by President Clinton with a goal of ensuring that all of  America's children know how to read by the end of the third grade. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 40 percent of America's 4th graders are reading ``below grade level." In Los Angeles, nearly 80% of 3rd graders are below grade level. The America Reads Challenge is committed to recruiting one million volunteer reading partners nationwide. The National Jewish Coalition for Literacy is one of many efforts to respond to the challenge.

Shawn Green has returned to California, having signed a six-year contract with the Dodgers. Raised in California, Green attended Tustin High School and Stanford University. As a former member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Green has enjoyed an impressive career with 42 home runs and 153 RBI's in his first five major league seasons (1993-1997). Green slugged 77 homers and drove in 223 runs the last two years, ranking 8th among A.L. batters in both categories during that span. He also ranked 2nd in runs (240) and 4th in doubles (78) among league batters during the same time span. Green joined George Bell in 1998-99 as the only other Blue Jay to post consecutive 100-run, 100 RBI seasons. His 42 homers in 1999 marked only the 5th time a Blue Jay hit 40 or more round trippers. His career .505 slugging percentage ranked 3rd in Blue Jays history and his .286 average tied for 5th with Bell. Now residing in Los Angeles within close proximity to his family and friends, Green has fulfilled an additional goal: to be involved with the Los Angeles community in a meaningful way.

KOREH L.A. is a program of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC). The Jewish Federation's fundraising arm, The United Jewish Fund, is the largest Jewish fundraising organization in the city. The Federation is also the second largest non-sectarian umbrella fundraising agency in Los Angeles. It provides a wide array of agencies and programs with funding for food, shelter, healthcare, education, counseling, rescue and resettlement for both Jews and non-Jews throughout Los Angeles and the world.