"Nothing is more basic, more essential, more foundational, or more important to a child’s success in life than the ability to read well," the couple tells PEOPLE

By Gabrielle Chung
December 21, 2020 05:24 PM
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Stephen and Ayesha Curry are spreading literary joy this holiday season.

The couple, who co-founded the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, is donating thousands of books to schools around Oakland, California.

"We along with our entire team at Eat. Learn. Play. understand the importance of early childhood education, especially when it comes to literacy," Stephen and Ayesha tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.

"Nothing is more basic, more essential, more foundational, or more important to a child’s success in life than the ability to read well. We know there is a lot of work to be done, but with partners like Literati, we're hopeful that we will be able to make an impact on these children's lives."

The donations will come in boxes each containing six books, five children's books and one adult book Stephen's "Underrated" book club selection.

Stephen and Ayesha Curry
| Credit: Steve Jennings/Getty

In addition to giving away 1,000 boxes of books during their recent Christmas with the Currys event, the couple's Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and Literati will be donating boxes to the students who are learning remotely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with 14,000 boxes going directly to Oakland Unified Schools before Christmas.

The remainder of the donation, which was also made possible through Bay Area investor Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, will be distributed through community partners in the new year.

Ayesha and Stephen Curry
| Credit: Kimberly White/Getty

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Stephen and Ayesha have been keeping busy with their children — son Canon W. Jack, 2, plus daughters Ryan Carson, 5, and Riley, 8 — at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As the couple's two daughters "officially started school" this fall, Ayesha told PEOPLE in September that she and Stephen are "in the thick of it" as far as figuring out homeschooling techniques.

"My oldest is pretty disciplined so that's been easy, but our 5-year-old has a little trouble staying engaged for an extended period of time," explained the Family Food Fight host.

One thing Ayesha and Stephen found that works for Ryan "is to do some kind of physical activity right before class starts to focus the mind and get some of the wiggles out, and periodic 'dance breaks' between lessons."

"We also added resistance workout bands to the legs of her chair, which give her something to do if she gets antsy during a long Zoom session," The Full Plate cookbook author added.

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According to Ayesha, Stephen has particularly been helpful in getting their kids settled into remote learning.

"Luckily for me, Stephen has really stepped in with education and their schooling. And I'm okay with that because I birthed them so now [he] can birth and nurture their education," she joked on an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show in September.

As far as the mom is concerned, Stephen is "making up for lost time, to be quite frank," when it comes to their girls.

"He would sleep through all of the diaper changes and the late nights when they were babies, so now this is his strong suit," she added.