Paramount, CA – Responding to a literacy challenge issued by the Los Angeles Clippers, 100 Hollydale School K-5 students received a private audience with former NBA star Lamond Murray on April 6, after being declared the winner of the Clippers 2017 Read to Achieve Minutes Challenge.

Murray, a Southern California native who was a Clippers first-round draft pick in 1994, talked to the students about the value of literacy in their daily lives and then read aloud from the book “Stone Soup” by Jon J. Muth. Two Hollydale students, fifth-grader Abraham Nuno and first-grader Noah Pareles, sat next to Murray and assisted him in reading the book.

All Hollydale students received a “Read to Achieve” T-shirt and a book based on their reading interests.

“Hollydale strives for academic excellence, in part, by inspiring lifelong readers,” Hollydale instructional coach Maria Lopez said. “Accepting and winning the Clippers Read to Achieve challenge shows how committed our teachers and students are to achieving their best.”

Hollydale won the Read to Achieve Challenge by amassing over 500,000 minutes of reading over six weeks. Lopez tallied the student scores on a spreadsheet and those who read the most minutes during the week received a basketball.

Pareles was Hollydale’s top reader, recording a total of 2,096 minutes. That earned him the distinction of being named an L.A. Clippers Community Kid and he was one of 10 L.A. County elementary school students selected to be part of the Reading All-Star team.

Pareles was honored during halftime of a Clippers game versus the Washington Wizards on March 29 at the Staples Center.

“It was a lot of fun,” Pareles said. “I enjoy reading and watching basketball.”

Inside the Hollydale gym on April 6, Murray spoke to the students about his career as a professional athlete, the need to stay in school and how reading and writing effectively will bring them closer to their dream colleges and careers.

“Our goal as an organization is to build a lifelong love of reading in young people,” Murray said. “We want to provide greater access to books, while encouraging families and adults to read together.”

For her efforts in promoting literacy and organizing the Hollydale “Read to Achieve” contest, Lopez was also recognized at the March 29 game, named one of “Tobi’s Heroes” – a Clippers program that honors community members who inspire children.

“The Read to Achieve Program is one of the many ways we’re inspiring our children to become effective communicators and leaders,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “I congratulate all of our Hollydale students for responding to the challenge, and to the faculty and staff at Hollydale for their continuing efforts to encourage reading every single day.”


041817_PARAMOUNT_READTOACHIEVE1: Hollydale fifth-grader Abraham Nuno, left, and first-grader Noah Pareles, right, assist former Los Angeles Clippers star Lamond Murray in reading the book “Stone Soup” to their classmates on April 6. Hollydale was named a winner of the
Clippers Read to Achieve Minutes Challenge.

041817_PARAMOUNT_READTOACHIEVE2: Hollydale K-5 students hold up books they received after being named the winners of the Los Angeles Clippers Read to Achieve Minutes Challenge. Hollydale students amassed more than 500,000 minutes of reading in a six-week period.