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Approximately 225,000 adults in the Kansas City area are classified at the lowest rate of literacy 

Derrick Thomas’ dream was to sack illiteracy among our urban youth. He knew that teaching children to read would help them avoid the societal issues of poverty, unemployment and poor health that develops out of being an illiterate adult. The Third and Long Foundation strives to keep his dream alive by changing the lives of 9 to 13 year old urban children facing challenging and even life-threatening situations. Through social, cultural, and educational activities and programs, the Third and Long Foundation helps participating children succeed in school and in an outside world possessing seemingly insurmountable obstacles.


This weekly enrichment, reading, and tutorial program for youth is a joint effort of Third and Long and local Kansas City School Districts. Certified instructors and community volunteers are teamed with small groups of students to provide motivational and supportive instruction promoting literacy.


By providing one on one tutoring, this program accelerates the literacy development of urban middle school children. Participating teens also gain literacy instruction techniques.


Any student who participated in the Third and Long Reading Club for at least one year is eligible to apply for a renewable four year scholarship to any institution of higher learning including vocational, technical, etc.

The winners are recognized at the Scholarship Awards Ceremony Annually. Find more info below.


Luncheon meetings are held during the Kansas City Chiefs Football season. Former Kansas City Chiefs, visiting dignitaries and celebrities speak to community Third and Long Supporters. Third and Long children are introduced and make presentations on how the program has helped their lives.


The Third and Long Foundation and the Kansas City Chiefs in conjunction with the local Price Chopper Stores provide full Thanksgiving baskets for needy families and area pantries

recreational outings

Children in the programs are taken to a Kansas City Chiefs football game every season as well as several other sporting and cultural events.

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