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03/09/2009 5:22 PM ET
Storm release new "Go Thunder Green" book
Team incorporates environmentalism into reading program

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. -- For the past two months, the Lake Elsinore Storm has been putting on their annual Reading for Rewards program. The program, now in its ninth season, encourages kids to read 10 books before March 30 in order to receive two free tickets to a Storm home game. This year the Storm has revamped the program in an effort to promote "Going Green" with the introduction of the "Go Thunder Green" book. As part of the reading program the Storm visit local schools and educate the students about Thunder's eight -- eight kid friendly tips to "Going Green."

"Go Thunder Green: Thunder's Guide to Going Green" was produced, written and illustrated by members of the Storm front office including Allan Benavides, Matt Dompe, Ruli Garcia, Patrick Gardenier, Chris Jones, Tracy Kessman, Sean McCall, and Steve Smaldone. The book contains a five stanza introduction revealing Thunder's efforts to help the world by "Going Green" as well as a poem that details Thunder's eight tips to help our environment.

"We as a staff feel that helping the environment is a very important part of everyday life. With the integration of a new "green" program at The Diamond, we felt it may be important to spread the word to the area's youth," said Storm president Dave Oster. "The reading program provided a perfect podium to showcase our mentality."

The 2009 reading program, presented by the Riverside County Office of Education and Union Bank, began January 23 and is scheduled to conclude in mid-March. Over the course of the reading program, Thunder will visit 13 different cities and 51 local elementary schools, totaling over 100 live performances, a 20% increase from 2008. All students attending a school performance will receive a "Go Thunder Green" book. Additionally, 25 other schools that missed out on an assembly will receive a Reading for Rewards bookmark that the students and their parents will fill out, return to their teachers and eventually redeem for two free Storm tickets for their accomplishments. In total 50,000 bookmarks will be distributed to local students.

For more information on the program or to get involved call the Storm front office at 951-245-4487 or visit