Derrick Johnson (DJ), a former Texas Longhorn and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, has returned to Austin to give back to his community through the creation of the nonprofit Defend the Dream Foundation. Through partnerships with Austin Ed Fund (Austin ISD’s nonprofit education foundation) and Horns With Hearts (affiliated with the University of Texas), DJ is creating “Discovery Dens” in AISD elementary schools. The goal is to transform these libraries into places that inspire young students to read and start imagining their own dreams.
The Foundation is investing nearly $58,000 into Oak Springs Elementary, the first school to be updated. A multi-functional space is being installed for students to read and learn. Flexible furniture, bookshelves and flooring will be donated along with new books that will update the current collection and better reflect the diverse student population. Horns With Heart student athletes will help build and create the actual Discovery Dens and then become reading ambassadors to kids at schools.
Derrick Johnson meets with students in their updated library. Photo credit Defend the Dream.