2019 Summer Reading Challenge

Cal Fans,

Cal Athletics and I have partnered together to inspire and encourage kids to read more during the summer months. The Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge is a FREE reading program for grades TK- 6th.

Sign up here or to learn more about the Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge click here.

The Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge:

  • TK - 2nd Grade: Read at least 4 books this summer and receive (4) four tickets to Cal Football’s home opener vs. UC Davis August 31 

  • 3rd Grade - 6th Grade: Read at least 6 books this summer and receive (4) four tickets to Cal Football’s home opener vs. UC Davis August 31 

To register click here, questions please email bearsread@berkeley.edu.

Good News

I’m excited to share that next week Cal Athletics will officially announce the 2019 Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge. I want to share the news ahead of time to all of you as you have been very supportive of our mission and can be big part in making this year’s challenge a success. Sign-ups will be open for everyone and promotion will begin. I’ve taken many of your suggestions and we’re hoping to make this year’s challenge even better.

When sign-ups go live, let’s share and promote the mission to stop summer learning loss! I’m recruiting current Cal players to visit elementary schools so if you’re interested in a visit to your school, we can set that up in the coming months.

I look forward to connecting with all of you to make this year’s Summer Reading Challenge a success.

Exceptional Every Day

My good friend Dr. Jason M. Valadao just published his book Exceptional Every Day: An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform Your Life. I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book before publication and wrote a testimonial (which appears on the back cover!).

Dr. Valadao shares the power of what he calls The Process. I’m a process-oriented person and found the book fascinating and insightful. It’s worth the read, especially if you’re looking to improve your every day habits. Dr. Valadao has an incredible story and mentored many of my teammates. You can learn more about him on his website: jasonvaladao.com.

I have some exciting news that I will be able to announce next week in regards to the Summer Reading Challenge. I look forward to sharing it!

By Jason M. Valadão M.D.

The Underground Railroad

Last week I finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. It’s one of those books that when you finish, you want to recommend to everyone. It’s been on my list for a while and I’m sure many of you have read it. Whitehead uses a cool device where he will introduce an impending event at the beginning of a chapter. While you know something is coming, you get lost in the story and the alluded event still comes as a surprise.

I believe this would be a great book for high schoolers to read. While it has graphic scenes describing the experience of slaves, the personification of their experience through fiction is valuable. Whitehead makes you empathize. For those that have read it, do you think high school juniors or seniors could read this book? I know there would be pushback because of the graphic details but I think tough conversations are important.

What do you think?

By Colson Whitehead