According to a press release, Derek Richardson, a retired NBA referee, bought the K. Anthony School in Inglewood, CA, and will rename it after his mother, Dolores T. Richardson.
As the former Group Supervisor for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and co-founder of the Why Can’t We Make A Difference Foundation (WCWMAD), Richardson has been a solid advocate for improving underserved educational institutions through academic and enrichment programs. And the main inspiration behind his serving disadvantaged schools is his mother, Dolores, because he acknowledges her as his first and most crucial educator throughout his life.
By purchasing K. Anthony Elementary School, the NBA veteran referee could directly impact the school for the social and academic well-being of the school’s students and families. His mission is to provide underserved students and families with the equal opportunities thriving communities receive.
Before the K. Anthony Elementary School became an educational institution, it was a nightclub and a fire station. The school was acquired through an auction and adopted the motto, “Tis education that forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent, the trees incline.”
A ceremony with a ribbon cutting, a dedication, and an open house is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. PT.
Before WCWMAD dedicated itself to improving under-resourced schools with academic and social enrichment programs in 2012, Richardson co-founded and became the foundation’s Executive Director to help those whose lives were negatively impacted by fortuitous challenges following Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact in 2005.
Some of the enrichments that WCWMAD provides schools are in chess, choir, dance, coding, art, performing arts, and morning mentoring. Richardson’s foundation also collaborated with the Children’s Defense Funds Summer Freedom School to improve students’ reading and comprehension levels through a six-week program, which increased by 66.7%. WCWMAD provided for families during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays by gifting them with gift cards.