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MA Honor Roll Students Courtside with Celtics Tonight

January 18, 2010

BOSTON - Tonight won't be just any night for dozens of students from around the state. In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, when the Celtics hit the court to play the Dallas Mavericks at the T-D Bank North Garden, some honor roll students will be there to cheer them on. The Boston Celtics Honor Roll program allows children who maintain a "B" average or perfect attendance to sit courtside with the home team.

Robert Duffy is the president of the Reading Matters Foundation, which started the honor roll program several years ago.

"The idea is really to use professional sports figures as role models to promote student achievement. In essence, the concept is that if you work hard in school, you can have an opportunity to watch the Celtics play hard on the parquet."

Melissa Wong is a METRO guidance counselor for the Brown and Middle Oaks Schools in Newton. She serves predominantly inner-city children and has about 50 kids who have made honor roll this year - success that she attributes to the program.

"This is a great program because they get to go to a free game, they get to see the players, they get to hang out with their friends - it's an opportunity for them to do something they wouldn't be able to do."

The program is a partnership between the Boston Celtics, the MTA and SBLI Insurance. This year, 275 students will have a chance to participate. Some will get to "high-five" the players at halftime, and during the year five lucky kids will be selected at random to sit in the sky box and receive a visit from the Celtics Mascot at their school.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA