Mission Prep alum Patrick Laird had a breakout junior season as a walk-on at Cal. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection and a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy award. The running back rushed 191 times for 1,127 yards and eight touchdowns. He became the 16th Cal player to rush at least 1,000-yards in a season. Laird also recorded more receptions than any Cal running back since 1988 with a career best of 45 receptions.
The Arroyo Grande native is now making an impression off the field with his Summer Reading Challenge. His goals described on his web page include, “To help inspire more kids to read and bring light to the detrimental effects of summer learning loss. The decline in reading proficiency over the summer months can have a profoundly negative effect on a student’s success down the line, especially affecting lower-income students.”
The Summer Reading Challenge is for children enrolled in grades 1-6 and it runs from June 1 through August 24. Participants who complete the challenge have an opportunity to meet Laird as well as receive four complimentary tickets to Cal’s season-opener in September.
Laird spent Thursday morning visiting Old Mission School and to encourage students to sign up for his challenge.
“I’m passionate about reading. After last season, I have a platform now to inspire and to create some positive change,” Laird said. “I’m passionate about reading and education and I thought after doing some research on how summer reading loss is a big problem, I wanted to fight it this summer. Cal Athletics is on board and I’m really excited to host the challenge.”
Click here to sign up.