Mississippi State men’s basketball team joins the “Fight for Literacy” for seventh year

Published 8:55 am Friday, January 20, 2023

Fans are invited to give an assist alongside Mississippi State MBB during the
Fight for Literacy Game to support Golden Triangle literacy efforts
STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, Jan. 18, 2023 – In Mississippi, nearly 31% of students are not
reading at grade-level. These statistics are critical. Illiteracy costs our nation’s health care
system hundreds of billions of dollars per year and indicates future rates of poverty and crime.
But, in partnership with Coaching for Literacy, the Mississippi State men’s basketball team
hopes to change those statistics in the Golden Triangle through its 2023 Fight for Literacy Game
presented by International Paper, set for Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.
During the Jan. 21 game against Florida, Mississippi State head coach Chris Jans and
his staff will wear green lapel pins, wristbands, ties and show laces to raise awareness for
literacy. Fans are invited to make a donation in support of local programs. One hundred
percent of funds generated from the game will stay in the Golden Triangle community through
a grant partnership with Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District and United Way of
West Central Mississippi. Since 2013, Coaching for Literacy has granted more than $1.1M to
literacy programs across the country to fund initiatives like mentoring, after-school programs
and providing age-appropriate books for children.
As the presenting partner of the Fight for Literacy, International Paper has guaranteed a
minimum donation of $10,000 to the Golden Triangle community. The company will also match
local donations up to $5,000. Since inception, the Mississippi State Fight for Literacy efforts
have raised $39,980.14 for local literacy efforts.

Mississippi State men’s basketball team joins the “Fight for Literacy” for seventh year

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“Fight for Literacy is truly a movement,” said Jason Baker, Co-Executive Director of
Coaching for Literacy. “We know how crucial it is for young kids to learn to read, and active,
committed partners like Mississippi State are truly helping bring a big voice to this issue by
showing their support. Their influence can and will create meaningful impact in the lives of
students. But anyone can fight for literacy, and this partnership really helps bring the issue front
and center in the Golden Triangle community and among Mississippi State basketball fans. We
believe it will create a long-term impact.”
A final fundraising total will be announced at the end of the season, when grants will be
delivered to Coaching for Literacy’s local partners. For more information about Coaching for
Literacy or the Fight for Literacy, visit coachingforliteracy.org.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global supplier of renewable fiber-based products.
We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable
worldwide commerce, and pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal care products that
promote health and wellness. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., we employ approximately
38,000 colleagues globally. We serve customers worldwide, with manufacturing operations in
North America, Latin America, North Africa and Europe. Net sales for 2021 were $19.4 billion. In
Russia, we have a 50/50 joint venture, Ilim Group, the country’s largest integrated manufacturer
of pulp and paper. Additional information can be found by visiting InternationalPaper.com.
About Coaching for Literacy
Formed in 2013 by two high school students, Coaching for Literacy aims to raise awareness of
and support solutions to the widespread problem of illiteracy. Using the power and influence of
sports, the organization has partnered with more than 110 teams across the country to host
more than 220 Fight for Literacy Games, which raise funds for grants to literacy-focused
programs in their communities. Since 2013, the organization has provided more than $1.1M to
fund nearly 190 literacy projects impacting more than 60,000 children. Coaching for Literacy
operates on the core belief that literacy is a fundamental right of every individual. For more
information, visit CoachingForLiteracy.org.

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