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Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, wife Carolyn and team players dedicate resource center at John Marshall (video)

January 8, 2014

Cavs Reading Room Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown and his wife Carolyn have picked up where they left off more than four years ago when Brown was in his first tour as coach of the NBA team: by renovating and dedicating a CMSD school library.

The Browns were joined Wednesday afternoon by District CEO Eric Gordon, Cavs players and mascots, as well as a handful of JROTC students and other students in cutting a wine-colored ribbon in front of the second-floor resource center at John Marshall High School. (See video below)

The remaining John Marshall students, who had been enjoying pizza and a dance party in the auditorium with the Cavaliers Scream Team before the ribbon cutting, then came upstairs to admire the renovated area, loaded with books, digital resources and computers.

The room, called the Resource Library & Technology Center
to Inspire Higher Education at John Marshall High School, is the first supported by the Browns and the Cavaliers in a CMSD high school. The Cavs have renovated about a dozen different school libraries in the region over the last decade.

The Brown family and the Cavs led the way in improving the library area “to inspire students’ interest in higher education,” according to a Cavs' news release:

Renovations included:

  •  A fresh coat of paint on the walls, courtesy of Sherwin Williams
  •  Custom graphics and life-size player cutouts, courtesy of Fathead. Many of the cutouts had the names of universities attached to the player's image.
  •  A new study area with furniture provided by Wayside Furniture
  • New wireless cards for each of the library’s computers
  • School supplies, desk organizers and Cavaliers bobbleheads 
  • Inspiring quotes mounted on the walls

Gordon Speaking
Brown was joined by Cavs players Anthony Bennett, Matthew Dellavedova and Henry Sims, mascots Moondog and Sir C.C., the Cavaliers Scream Team and Olivier Sedra, the Cavs announcer at their home games in the Q.
"You guys are more than capable of graduating and higher education is definitely where you should set your goals,” Sedra told the crowd. “Through that you can achieve anything you want.”

Every speaker, including CEO Gordon, focused on higher education as the goal for the students and said the new resource center was just one tool toward reaching that goal.

Gordon asked each of the students in the crowd who would be the first in their families to go to college to stand to be recognized with applause.

“I'm also a first-time college-goer, and now I'm the superintendent of the Cleveland School District,” he said to thunderous applause. “You can do whatever it is that you want to do!”

Gordon and others credited Carolyn Brown, who told him that she met three impressive John Marshall students last year when the couple returned to Northeast Ohio after Mike Brown accepted the job to coach the Cavaliers again.

“She knew which school she wanted the minute she called me up,” he said. “Because she met three 'Lawyers' just like you' and she wants you to have what she and Coach Brown have been able to do for their own children.”

School Principal Byron Hopkins also thanked the Browns' son Cameron and the Westlake Demon boys basketball team for spending community service hours over the winter break to work on the media center.

“Mrs. Brown has been the mastermind,” Hopkins said. “Her dedication to literacy and the message that it shouldn't matter where you come from and that everyone should have an opportunity to be successful echoes here in this school.”

Carolyn Brown told the students that she and Mike Brown are “very invested in helping you succeed” and said the couple would provide sweatshirts of the colleges they hope to attend if they meet certain guidelines.

Mike Brown Mike Brown told the students that they had “terrific leaders in place,” but that it was up to them “to take on the challenges in front of you.”

“Keep fighting – it's going to break for you someday,” he said. He also told the crowd that the event Wednesday began late because he was waiting for the team's newest player – All-star Luol Deng, who was just obtained in a trade with the Chicago Bulls --  to arrive.

 The development of Reading & Learning Centers, presented in association with Sherwin-Williams throughout Northeast Ohio,allows qualified non-profit organizations with the opportunity to improve the condition of its current facility as well as to improve the quality of its literacy and educational programming.

Since 2004, the Cavaliers have created 12 Reading & Learning Centers at community-based organizations: St. Martin de Porres Family Center (Cleveland), Project: LEARN of Summit County (Akron), the Drew Gooden Reading & Learning Center at East End Neighborhood House (Cleveland), E. Prep Academy (Cleveland), the Eric Snow Reading & Learning Center at the Ed “Peel” Coleman Recreation Center (Canton), the Boys & Girls Club-West Side Club (Cleveland), Douglas McArthur Girls Leadership Academy (Cleveland), Kenneth Clement Boys Leadership Academy (Cleveland), AJ Rickoff School (Cleveland) and the Nordson Boys & Girls Club (Elyria), West Side Ecumenical Ministries (Cleveland), St. Thomas Aquinas (Cleveland).