The NBA star and his wife Ayesha's Eat. Learn. Play Foundation announced a new movement to raise and invest $50 million into Oakland schools on Wednesday
"I've read all of the Harry Potter books," the four-time NBA champion, 33, tells PEOPLE. "I didn't get to see the movies, though."
That's right — Curry, a former self-proclaimed "math nerd" during his days growing up in North Carolina, says he read "every single one of" the novels based on the world of witchcraft and wizardry, but just hasn't gotten around to watching any of the films inspired by J.K. Rowling's beloved series.
"I know it's blasphemous, but yes, that's where I'm at," Curry admits with a laugh.
"I guess I've just got to have a little movie marathon," he opines during a video call with his wife, Ayesha Curry, from the Bay Area home they share with their three children, daughters Riley and Ryan and son Canon.
"I was a Chronicles of Narnia girl," Ayesha, 34, says before her husband breaks into laughter. "Why are you laughing?!"
While Stephen says his favorite subject in school was math, Ayesha says she took more to science. "I was an anatomy and physiology type of girl," the mother of three tells PEOPLE. "I was fortunate enough that in one of my classes, we even got to dissect things; that was exciting for me."
The Sweet July founder also recalls "the most amazing teacher" she had for a civics and economics class. "You know what it was about that class? The teacher. I'll never forget her and how she was so attentive and so caring. That really stuck with me," says Ayesha.
Both Charlotte natives, Ayesha and Stephen have called Oakland, California their home since the NBA star was drafted by the Warriors in 2009.
"It's our adoptive home," Stephen says, adding, "There's such a unique culture here, unique energy, but there are also a lot of challenges."
Among those challenges is a lack of "access to the appropriate resources, especially for young kids," says Stephen.
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Additionally, the Curry's will continue to cover all costs of the public charity's administrative and fundraising costs, which put the funds directly back into the community by renovating local schools and playspaces, investing into literary resources and delivering meals to students.
Created in 2019, Stephen says the foundation helped him and Ayesha "understand how we could truly make an impact" in their community.
The athlete explains, "It only made sense to address these issues head-on and really wave the flag of Oakland, because we say, there's so much talent here, but opportunity isn't everywhere."
Beyond the significant financial support, Stephen and Ayesha generously lend their time to the Oakland community as well.
Ayesha recalls realizing the students at an Oakland public school were more excited to take home books than to meet the Warriors star. "I saw a basketball hoop and was like, oh, we have all these books to give away. Nobody's going to want these. The kids are going to show up, they're going to see Stephen and they're going to be like, we're going to hoop," she says.
"But no, it was so wild. As soon as the bus opened up and the kids saw the books, they ran directly towards the books."
Ayesha, who calls Oakland the place she and Stephen "grew into adulthood" together, says she was touched by the number of students who wanted to bring home books for their siblings.
"I was like, wow, the excitement here for reading and the joy for reading and wanting to learn is there. It's right there in our faces. It really does come down to access," she explains.
One of the most popular selections from the Oakland students was Stephen's I Have a Superpower, released in 2022, according to the author himself. "Shameless plug, but a lot of them were excited about it," he says.
"Everybody wanted the little satchel that you could take and load up to see how many books they could carry," he says. "That's the joy of reading that we're trying to instill, and it's pretty awesome that it's not that hard to get that energy back. You just have to be present and be able to show up for the kids."
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