CHICAGO, Illinois - The National Football Players Father’s Association (NFPFA) has launched its Books, Balls and Brilliance Initiative. The Initiative rallies the support of Association members across America as they seek to address and change the correlation between low levels in reading proficiency among elementary students and its ability to determine how many prison cells will be needed for the next generation. With statistics revealing that by fourth grade only 12 percent of minority male students are reading at or above their grade level, members are stepping up to secure the successful future of our youth by providing the resources needed to address the disparities amongst minorities and reading proficiency. With a strong commitment to youth empowerment, NFPFA’s Education Committee launched its groundbreaking initiative to address the potential harm that our nation’s communities will experience if the current method of determining the number of new prisons needed is in fact correct. With Chairman, Curtis Randle El (Chicago) and Vice Chairman Nate Clements (Charlotte, NC) spearheading the program, they brought awareness to this. In addressing the issue, they declared, “Reading at grade level by the end of third grade is critical to a child’s future academic success. There is a direct connection between the third grade reading benchmark and high school dropout rates. If we can get to kids early and ensure their success up to third grade we will be impacting the public education system all the way through high school. Chairman, Curtis Randle El, visited Gen George Patton Elementary School to read to an identified 3rd grade class . The Books, Balls and Brilliance initiative was an excellent opportunity for members to join the national effort in addressing a glaring problem." NFPFA developed this program towards working with elementary children in a nationwide effort for increasing reading literacy levels at or above their current grade levels. NFPFA Chairman, Curtis Randle El expressed his commitment in stating that “The future of our communities rest solely in the hopes and dreams of our youth. At a time when the odds are stacked against them, is when our call as fathers and leaders in the community is most important, because we have all stood on someone’s shoulders at some point. It is time that we help our youth by reaching down ourselves and assisting them so that their future remains bright. The Books, Balls and Brilliance Initiative has the ability to do just that and we are committed to its successful implementation.” With more than 24 million children currently living in the US as of 2010 between the ages of 6-11 years old and African Americans making up 14 percent of the population, there are around 3.4 million African American children falling within this age group. With more than 70 percent of American prison inmates reading at or below a fourth grade level, there is a direct link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, crime and reading failure since evidence shows that children who do not read by third grade often fail to catch up. With Chicago’s crime rates rising, what better city to lead in the launch of the initiative. The Program, which will be launched on the National Reading Day, January 23rd , 2017, will display a united front as members across the nation motivate students to read through interacting with youngest community members. “Respectable literacy levels reside at the heart of community engagement and development, which is the foundation on which the National Football Players Father Association stands. For the past 14 years, our commitment to our members and their community remains in our foresight. We stand committed to reversing this downward trend as it threatens to erode the vitality and sustainability of our youth. Books, Balls And Brilliance has the potential to offer more American children the opportunities inherited to them as American citizens and mayors across America stand ready to ensure the successful future of students nationwide,” NFPFA Chairman, Curtis Randle El.