Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson shares passion for reading with local students

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Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson reads to students as part of his "Defend the Dream" foundation.

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson reads to students as part of his “Defend the Dream” foundation.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A key player in the Chiefs defense wants ever Kansas City kid to have a good place to read a book.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson read to students on Monday at Banneker Elementary. Johnson’s “Defend the Dream Foundation” has been transforming area schools’ under-used spaces into well-equipped libraries, or as the foundation calls them, “Discovery Dens.”

Johnson said his passion for learning comes from his mother, a teacher for more than 40 years.

“She instilled a lot of educational values in me, so that’s what I want to bring back to the younger generation here.”

Johnson’s organization aims to open these “Discovery Dens” in every low-income public school in Kansas City.