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MA School Kids Hit a Homerun for Reading at Fenway

September 6, 2011

BOSTON - Massachusetts pupils hit one out of the park this summer when it comes to reading, and 100 of those readers got a chance to celebrate at Fenway Park with their teachers over the weekend. It's part of the Red Sox Summer Reading Game, which encourages schoolchildren to read at least nine books during their summer time away from school.

The contest is supported each year by the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and the Hanover Insurance Group Foundation. MTA President Paul Toner says the program has been a huge success.

"The children did pledge to read over 300,000 books, based on the postcards that we received, so there's an awful lot of reading going on out there."

Toner says research indicates summer reading gives pupils a huge head start when school begins, and summer reading programs are a proven way to boost student performance.

"So, the more we can get them to be involved in reading and activities over the summer, the better off they'll be when they return to school in the fall.

Jennifer Louisa, assistant vice president of community relations for Hanover Insurance, says the company has supported the Red Sox Summer Reading Game over the past few years because it's a fun way to encourage kids to keep learning.

"So, we feel like it's a great way to help our local youth strive to realize their full potential, and have a little fun at the same time by supporting the Red Sox."

Louisa says The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation places a special emphasis on public education and on inspiring and empowering students to achieve their full potential.

Kids who pledged to read had a chance to win one of 100 sets of tickets to the Red Sox game Saturday, where they were invited onto the field to celebrate with Wally the Green Monster.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - MA