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Kansas City Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson Unveils Three “DJ’s Discovery Dens” in Three Kansas City Elementary Schools
Posted By:  Sean Cox
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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KANSAS CITY – (April 26, 2016)
 Kansas City Chiefs’ Linebacker and 2014 Pro Bowl Defensive MVP Derrick Johnson is spending his offseason giving back to the Kansas City community. This week, through his Defend the Dream Foundation, whose mission is to provide low income and inner city young people with opportunities and resources to reach their full potential, DJ has unveiled three DJ’s Discovery Dens.

DJ launched his sixth and seventh DJ’s Discovery Dens, Monday, at Wheatley Elementary and New Chelsea Elementary. The eighth room was unveiled on Tuesday, at George Melcher Elementary. DJ’s Discovery Den, a program of Derrick’s Defend the Dream Foundation, transforms a school's unused or underutilized classroom or area into a reading oasis.

Johnson visited all three schools and read books aloud to students after formal ribbon cuttings and dedications. Each Discovery Den provides access to over 1,200 age appropriate books, donated by Scholastic, and an exciting space to learn and read.

Johnson knows how difficult it is to get children to read.

“It’s just like getting them to eat their vegetables. They want to eat candy and eat other stuff, but you have to get the right things in them for them to succeed. It’s about forming good habits. If you can push good habits on them at a young age, you’ll set them up for success.” - Derrick Johnson

The DJ’s Discovery Dens at Wheatley Elementary, New Chelsea Elementary and George Melcher Elementary were made possible by the contributions of IBT Industrial Solutions, in honor of Mark Byrne, who passed away last year.

Derrick Johnson’s Defend the Dream Foundation has plans to install at least two additional Discovery Dens in 2016, with the goal of eventually reaching every Title I school in Kansas City.

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