Credit: NFLPA and Athlita Comics

On the football field, Pittsburgh Steeler Cam Heyward is a well-known defensive star, but off the field he’s earning a new title: literacy MVP.

Heyward was recently awarded the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) Community MVP Award for establishing his first of several Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in underserved Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The goal? To increase book access for kids.

“It’s an honor to receive the NFLPA Community MVP for a second year in a row,” Heyward told the NFPLA. “The work that I do with my foundation is not to achieve awards, but to impact children in many ways.”

Special cleats were designed to celebrate the award and feature the familiar Little Free Library motto, “Take a Book, Share a Book.”

Credit: The Sole Revival

Heyward’s first Little Free Library installation officially kicked off the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation working to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, who were longtime educators in Pittsburgh. Another Little Free Library installation soon followed, with more planned, bringing 24/7 access to books to the community.

A new Little Free Library installed by the Cameron Heyward Foundation in Pittsburgh.

We salute the work of Cameron Heyward and his foundation to share a love of reading; promote social justice and racial equality; and expand book access for children. As a player who has spent his entire career in the city of Pittsburgh, it’s clear that Heyward’s love for his community runs deep.

Get involved: Learn how to start a Little Free Library in your community, or sign the Read in Color pledge to help share diverse books.

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