books.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and police Chief Greg Suhr were in the city’s South of Market neighborhood this morning to promote child literacy and celebrate a quarter-million-dollar donation from PG&E to a local elementary school.

The event, organized by San Francisco RBI, a partnership with Major League Baseball to teach at-risk youth life skills and the fundamentals of baseball and softball, was held at Victoria Manalo Draves Park near Bessie Carmichael School at 375 Seventh St.

PG&E’s $250,000 donation is funding specialized literacy instructors who support students in developing reading fluency and understanding at Bessie Carmichael.

Lee and Suhr joined the city’s Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg and school board president Hydra Mendoza on the park’s baseball diamond, where each dignitary read from the book “Curious George at the Baseball Game” to a group of students.

Lee praised the RBI program, which stands for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, saying it’s “using the game of baseball and its discipline and teamwork” to teach children how to translate those ideas to the classroom.

He also thanked PG&E for its donation to Bessie Carmichael, a school in which three-quarters of its students qualify for California’s free and reduced-price lunch program and one out of five students live in transitional housing.

“It’s a school where a lot of kids come from families that can’t afford a lot of things, and we want to make sure you have a school that can help you,” Lee told the students.

More information about San Francisco’s RBI program, including how to donate to it, is available online at

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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