Chris Long is expanding his educational initiatives by pledging a quarter of his 2018 annual salary to start the "First Quarter for Literacy" fund to promote early literacy among underserved children.
Last season, Long donated his entire $1 million salary to educational programs in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va. He also launched the "Pledge 10 for Tomorrow" campaign, which raised more than $1.75 million for organizations focused on expanding educational opportunities in the three cities where Long has played: St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia.
Partnering with the United Way and in support of Philadelphia's Read By Fourth campaign, Long's goal this season is to distribute more than 75,000 books to children in needy neighborhoods and to create three Chris Long Book Nook reading centers. In doing so, Long aims to raise awareness about the direct connection between early-reading proficiency and quality of life over the long term.
A quarter of Long's $2.5 million salary, after taxes, is about $400,000, per ESPN's Tim McManus.
"Kids don't have a choice. Kids don't pick their parents, they don't pick their economic background, they don't pick the neighborhood they grew up in, they don't pick any of the factors that can hold them back, they don't pick their school system," Long told ESPN. "So [investing in them], it just feels like you're doing something productive. ... I just feel like this is something where you're going to see results."
The Long's will match additional donations up to $25,000 for any player on an opposing team this year who wants to donate funds and distribute books to children in their team's community.
Long is already more than a third of the way to his goal with 27,500 books donated already as of Friday morning.
The Eagles take on the Titans on Sunday, Sept. 30. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. ET.