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Goal: Texas Unions Use Soccer to Reach Out

Goal: Texas Unions Use Soccer to Reach Out

Take the nation’s fastest growing soccer tournament, add an emphasis on academic success, a dash of workers’ rights and the Texas union movement and you’ve got a recipe for a unique and innovative Latino community outreach opportunity.

That’s what is happening this weekend in Austin, where the Texas AFL-CIO and Texas AFT are partnering with a local Univision personality at the COPA Univision amateur soccer tournament that will include both adult men’s and women’s teams and teams of boys and girls from 6 to 18 years old. They will be hosting players and their parents, as well as event spectators at a special tent on the grounds of Northeast Metro Park, the site of the two-day tournament festival.

Union volunteers will promote students’ academic success and summer reading by giving away children’s books through a unique partnership with AFT and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books to children across the country.

They will hold several readings for children throughout the weekend and will be joined by Univision Austin 62’s weather anchor Blanca Gaytán at noon CDT tomorrow and at 10 a.m. Sunday. Says Texas AFT President Linda Bridges:

It is so important to get books into the hands of young children if they are to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. Education drives the progress of our state and its communities.

Along with reaching out to young people, union members will provide information to tournament attendees about their workplace rights and enlist support for immigration reform with a road map to citizenship by signing a pledge of support. Says Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller:

The Texas AFL-CIO believes comprehensive immigration reform, including a road map to citizenship for 11 million aspiring citizens who are an integral part of our society, will strengthen our nation, in part by squaring the rights of all workers.

Later in the month, Texas unions will be on hand for the Copa Univision tournaments in Houston and Dallas.

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