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Robinson opens reading room for students

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Allen Robinson II led Bears receivers with 754 yards while catching 55 passes in his first season in Chicago. But his contributions aren’t limited to the football field.

On Monday night, Robinson unveiled his Within Reach Foundation’s inaugural “Reach for a Book” reading room at a Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago location.

The room, which is located in the Linda & Bill Gantz Boys & Girls Club facility at 2915 North Leavitt Street, will provide students with e-readers, magazine subscriptions and several hundred new books. Robinson hopes the room is the first of many in the city. 

“I think it’s super cool,” Robinson said. “It’s everything that we planned for. With this being our inaugural room, it really makes it extra special. To be able to put areas like this for kids to read is our mission. We’re starting with this one and we’ll continue to move forward and try to do it in as many places as possible.”

Robinson, who grew up in Detroit and attended Penn State, wants the children he works with to understand the importance of literacy and education.

“I really didn’t learn the importance of school until high school, and for me it was almost too late for me to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish,” he said.

Robinson raised funds for the reading room when his foundation hosted a benefit in December entitled “An Evening Within Reach” at the Montgomery Club in Chicago.

The reading room is painted in Bears colors and features a large picture on the wall of Robinson catching a football. He hopes that he can serve as an inspiration and role model to the kids involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago.

“I think a lot of the youth is in need of a lot and not just reading but a voice,” Robinson said. “That’s the biggest thing for me as a person. Growing up a lot of people told me my dreams and aspirations weren’t really realistic. So to be able to be a voice for the kids; somebody that they can talk to or somebody when they come into a room like this they look up to who has sat in the same seats as them, I think that’s the biggest impact.”

WR Allen Robinson unveils his 'Reach for a Book' reading room at Linda & Bill Gantz Boys & Girls Club in Chicago.

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