With a new school year in full swing, the Fisher Cats officially kicked off the 2013-14 Reading Challenge presented by a new partner, Velcro USA Inc. Mascot Fungo visited Franklin High School on Wednesday and Green Acres School and Bluff School on Friday to introduce the rewarding challenge to students in each school.
Fungo's challenge is a simple one: if you read five books outside your normal curriculum, you'll earn two tickets to a Fisher Cats Reading Challenge Game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium next spring, courtesy of Velcro USA, Inc.
"Without a doubt, this is one of Fungo's favorite days of the year, right next to Opening Day," said Rick Brenner, Fisher Cats President. "Being able to motivate and reward these children with Velcro USA Inc. is a great thing. We hope the students have fun and look forward to the excitement of our special Reading Challenge games next season."
This week's assemblies, the first of about 40 the Fungo and the Fisher Cats will make this school year, highlighted the importance developing strong reading skills for these students - both for their immediate goals and their long-term ambitions. Additionally, the assemblies, which included a Fisher Cats staff member, featured interactive games and featured healthy living tips like exercising and eating right.
"With our commitment to education and life-long learning, Velcro USA applauds the Fisher Cats' Reading Challenge and its efforts to fortify reading skills among children," said Scott Filion, President, Velcro USA Inc. "We're proud to support this program and look forward to strengthening our connection to the community by bringing families together at upcoming Fisher Cats games."
By the end of the academic year, the Fisher Cats will distribute 60,000 Reading Challenge bookmarks to students across New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts, reaching approximately 150 schools. This will raise the program's reach to more than 260,000 students since 2007.
In addition to the individual challenge, students will represent their school in a special team competition for the fourth straight year. Through a donation from the Fisher Cats Foundation, the schools with the highest percentage of students who complete the Reading Challenge will be eligible to win one of three prizes totaling $5,000 for their schools.
The program is available free-of-charge to all schools in New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. To book a presentation by Fungo and the Fisher Cats, or to receive the program information, contact the Fisher Cats Community Relations team at (603) 641-2005.
The Fisher Cats Reading Challenge, presented by Velcro USA Inc., is a part of the Fisher Cats year-round effort to give back to local communities. Since 2007, the Fisher Cats and the Fisher Cats Foundation have generated nearly $3 million in monetary and in-kind donations to more than 3,800 non-profit organizations. In that time, the Fisher Cats Foundation has awarded $200,000 in scholarships to college-bound high school seniors.