NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 22, 2023) – Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) and Tight End University (TEU) today welcomed local youth to the annual TEU Summit in Nashville, Tenn., for a special day of learning and fun in support of literacy. To commemorate their third year of working together in service to the Nashville community, Bridgestone and TEU also announced a joint donation of $50,000 to four participating organizations and schools to bolster literacy initiatives.
At the event, students from four Nashville-area organizations and schools were invited to observe and engage with some of the NFL’s top Tight Ends, including TEU founders George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers), Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) and Greg Olsen, as they honed their craft on the field at Vanderbilt University. Afterwards, students attended an interactive, off-site program connecting players, students, and Bridgestone teammates to talk about learning and the importance of reading.
The Tennessee Department of Education released statewide average English Language Arts scores in May 2023 indicating 60% of public school third-grade students are at risk of being held back¹. Bridgestone and TEU’s focus on literacy demonstrates their commitment to promoting and supporting education for youth in the community.
“One of the most important ways young people can shape strong paths – whether they become football players or automotive technicians – is to read. It’s a skill that we take for granted far too often,” said Marko Ibrahim, President, Bridgestone Retail Operations. “We are thrilled to join forces once again with our friends at Tight End University to bring greater awareness to the power of literacy and help bridge learning gaps for youth here in Nashville and beyond.”
"One of the most rewarding parts of TEU is giving back to the Nashville community, a place I also call home,” said George Kittle, Tight End, San Francisco 49ers and Co-Founder, TEU. “We're excited to be working with Bridgestone for the third year in a row to help young people build solid foundations, and we hope this year’s focus on literacy will make a lasting, positive impact.”
TEU, which has previously partnered with Bridgestone to support Nashville area youth, provides a venue for the country’s top Tight Ends to build camaraderie, share ideas and make an impact in their communities. This year marked the third annual TEU Summit, which returned to Nashville June 20-22 for three days of collaboration and learning.
Bridgestone’s support of youth literacy in relationship with Tight End University aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment. This program aligns with the company’s “Empowerment” and “Emotion” commitments.
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¹According to the Tennessee Department of Education, as released in May 2023.