SJSU has partnered with the 49ers to promote literacy. Hundreds of Bay Area youth from local reading programs will attend the practice. The 49ers are also scheduled to conduct a mock game with NFL officials present.
"Tomorrow's public practice with the 49ers, along with the upcoming Literacy Classic football game between San José State and Grambling State University on August 23, mark the beginning of the University's push to promote literacy through athletics," said Chuck Bell, athletic director San José State University.
"Under the leadership of San José State University coach Fitz Hill, we have seen significant improvement in the grade point averages of many of our football players.
Besides being successful on the field Coach Hill has set his sights on improving literacy among today's youth. We're thrilled to host the 49ers this weekend and we're thrilled that they're joining us in our campaign to promote literacy."
The 49ers connection to San José State runs deep. The 49ers trained at San José State from 1976-78. Quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Steve DeBerg graduated from SJSU, as did Bill Walsh.
General Manager Terry Donahue attended San José State before transferring to UCLA. Head Coach Dennis Erickson was a member of the Spartan coaching staff from 1979-81. Billy Wilson, one of the greatest pass receivers in 49ers history, was drafted out of San José State.
"We're very grateful the 49ers considered San José State University and the city of San José as a place to share themselves with their fans," Hill said. "We're very happy to be associated with an organization like the San Francisco 49ers, the five-time Super Bowl champions.
At San José State, we want to align our program with excellence and the 49ers have proven to be one of the best franchises in the NFL. We want our program at San José State to achieve as much success as they have."
"We are really excited about having practice at Spartan Stadium and the interaction we are going to have with our fans," said 49ers General Manager Terry Donahue. "To be able to collaborate with San José State and Coach Hill on some very important community programs while helping their football program is a win-win. The day should be a lot of fun and will most certainly provide some unique experiences for our fans."
In support of Literacy Week and the upcoming Literacy Classic, the 49ers have agreed to donate books that will be distributed as part of the Bay Area Reads and Read to Lead programs the week of August 18, 2003. For more information on the Literacy Week events, go to www.literacyclassic.org.
The 49ers public practice at Spartan Stadium is free; attendance is limited. Gates open at 2 p.m. There are no in and out privileges. Parking is $5.
About the Literacy Classic The Literacy Classic marks the first NCAA football game of the 2003 season and features the San José State University Spartans hosting the Grambling State University Tigers at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on August 23, 2003, at San José State University's Spartan Stadium.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and will include a special half-time show featuring the world-renowned Grambling Tiger Marching Band.
The Literacy Classic organizing committee is a non-profit entity that aims to raise literacy awareness and generate capital to fund regional programs that support literacy and academic achievement.
For additional information, please call (888) SAN-JOSE or visit www.literacyclassic.org.