Five-year ACC-United Way partnership is in conjunction with Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship


The Atlantic Coast Conference and United Way of Central Carolinas are continuing their partnership that began in 2015 to support student literacy through the ACC United Way Reading Challenge, a charitable initiative associated with the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.


Working together, the ACC, United Way and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are focused on improving reading proficiency at selected CMS schools. Participating in this year’s ACC United Way Reading Challenge are Dorothy J. Vaughan Academy of Technology, John Motley Morehead STEM Academy, Nathaniel Alexander Elementary, Paw Creek Elementary and Renaissance West STEAM Academy.


“The ACC has partnered with United Way for more than 20 years to make a difference in our communities,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Our league is committed to academic excellence, and we are proud to support efforts to increase student literacy in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.”


From Oct. 23 through Nov. 17, students in the five schools recorded their reading minutes. The school with the most cumulative minutes will win complimentary tickets to the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, and the students will be honored on the field at Bank of America Stadium. This year’s game will be played in primetime on Saturday, Dec. 2, and will be televised nationally by ABC or ESPN.


Additionally, the ACC is helping United Way generate student excitement for reading through an ACC mascot visit to Renaissance West STEAM Academy – a new CMS school inside the Renaissance community supported by United Way’s United Neighborhoods initiative – on the Friday, Dec. 1, prior to Saturday’s Championship Game.


“The stature of the ACC will bring greater awareness to United Way’s work, and more importantly, increased engagement by students, their families and their schools in making student literacy a priority to enjoy together,” said Sean Garrett, United Way’s executive director. “We’re pleased to partner with a conference comprised of the very colleges where many of our youth will aspire to attend.”


Fans interested in supporting this initiative can do by participating in the ACC Fan 5K and Kids Mascot Run presented by Novant Health, set for Saturday, Dec. 2 in Uptown Charlotte. All event proceeds will support United Way’s work. Learn more or register at