Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Thursday, May 7, 2015
CONTACT: Angela Fisher Hall                                             
Interim Director                                   
Birmingham Public Library System                                   
Phone: (205) 226-3614                                         
Free Skills and Drills Football Clinic for Birmingham's Youth
Hosted by Carolina Panthers Jerricho Cotchery
Birmingham, Alabama—The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is excited to host "UNMASK!" with the Cotchery Foundation. Jerricho Cotchery, one of Birmingham’s native sons, has teamed up with the library to host yet another amazing series of events for the 2015 Teen Summer Reading Program, "UNMASK!"

Born in 1982, Cotchery grew up to be an incredible athlete. He excelled at Phillips High School in Birmingham and attended North Carolina State University. The New York Jets drafted him in 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers added him to their roster in 2010, and in 2014 he joined the Carolina Panthers. 

Named for the famous Biblical city, Jerricho is deeply committed to his faith and to community outreach. He was moved to start the Cotchery Foundation in January 2007 as a result of his own personal memories and experiences growing up. He and his foundation have set out to "show that anyone can do extraordinary things if they have the desire and passion." Cotchery has made it his mission to show that any individual can make a significant difference in the lives of others.

For the past eight years, The Cotchery Foundation has hosted a FREE Skills and Drills Football Clinic with Jerricho Cotchery. In 2009, The Foundation asked the Birmingham Public Library to join them to enrich the experience. In order to register for the 2015 Skills and Drills Football Clinic, youth from 11-17 must be an active participant in the "Score Big with UNMASK!" component of the "UNMASK!" summer reading program. Seven points are necessary to qualify. Youth may score points by registering for the program (1 point), reading an entire magazine (3 points), and reading an entire book (6 points). "UNMASK!" registration and Skills and Drills Clinic forms are available at all Birmingham Public Library locations. The completed registration forms must be returned to the library by June 5, 2015. At least two hundred participants will be selected to attend the 2015 Skills and Drills Football Clinic on June 20, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Legion Field. Those selected will be notified by June 12.

In addition to being eligible for the Skills and Drills Football Clinic, all those who "UNMASK!" are invited to a FREE Teen Tailgate Party at Birmingham Public Library on June 19, 2015. The celebration will take place on the first floor of the Central Library, located at 2100 Park Place, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There will be music, dancing, photo-ops with Jerricho, food, and lots of fun. Tickets are required and are available at all BPL locations.

Registration for UNMASK! with the Cotchery Foundation opens May 1. Visit any Birmingham Public Library location for registration materials and additional information.
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with nineteen locations and serving the community for 128 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.

MEDIA:  Media coverage of the Teen Tailgate Party and the Skills and Drills Football Clinic is appreciated.  To check on Jerricho Cotchery's availability for an interview, please contact Janine Langston at 205.322.6371.  Attached are color images for use in print coverage.  For additional information, please call Angela Fisher Hall at 205.226-3616.
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