Defend The Dream x Book Days


Derrick Johnson (DJ), a former Texas Longhorn and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, has returned to Austin to give back to his community through the creation of the nonprofit Defend the Dream Foundation.

On October 2023, the Defend the Dream Foundation forged a partnership with Book Days, a local children’s program dedicated to bringing stories to life to instill a passion for reading among young learners.

Kassi Kincaid, the visionary behind Book Days, and Derrick Johnson (DJ), acknowledged a shared
goal: empowering children in Title 1 schools to fulfill their potential through reading and education, prompting their collaboration.

Kassi and Derrick embarked on their inaugural tour across all three Defend the Dream schools within the Austin Independent School District—Oak Springs,
Langford, and Pickle Elementary.

The tour showcased the timeless favorite “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric
Litwin. Throughout the day, nearly 800 children were reached, engaging in lively theatrical readings led by DJ, Kassi, and the iconic character, Pete himself.

Following the readings, each class had the opportunity to capture a memorable moment with DJ and Pete in a group photo.

The Defend the Dream Foundation and Book Days eagerly anticipate a fruitful partnership ahead, aiming to foster lasting connections with these elementary schools through biannual
book tours featuring different stories and characters.

In addition to revitalized libraries, Defend the Dream schools can expect ongoing
encouragement and support from DJ and Kassi as they champion the academic success of their

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