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Phillies' Ryan Howard gives $1.2M to local schools

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December 1, 2011 07:33 PM EST | AP


PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Phillies star Ryan Howard is helping local students dress for success – in athletics.

The first baseman announced Thursday that his Ryan Howard Family Foundation will donate Adidas sportswear valued at nearly $1.2 million to the cash-strapped Philadelphia school district.

The gift will enable 57 city high schools to select athletic shoes and apparel to match the schools' colors. Four middle school athletic programs will receive shoes.

Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery says the donation "will make a world of difference to our athletes." The school district had a budget gap of more than $629 million this year, forcing layoffs and cuts in many programs.

Howard's foundation is also providing turkeys, winter coats and school supplies to more than 500 struggling families in the Philadelphia area.