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Revamped Wild About Reading Set To Start Dec. 4th
11/30/2012 4:30 PM ET
FRESNO, Calif. - Wild About Reading, the Fresno Grizzlies Community Fund's successful reading program, is set to launch its 10th year of existence at Rowell Elementary in Fresno with a 9:00 a.m. assembly on Tuesday, December 4th. For 2013, the program will feature a new educational magazine called Farm Grown, which also includes the story "Parker Goes To The Farm." Wild About Reading, presented by Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, PG&E and Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU), is one of the largest educational programs in all of professional sports as it enrolled over 97,000 Central San Joaquin Valley students in 2012.

"Our goal is to not only reach over 100,000 Central San Joaquin Valley students through the Wild About Reading program in 2013, but also provide an educational experience for each student that showcases the Central Valley's farming," said Grizzlies Community Fund Manager Whitney Campbell. "With the Farm Grown magazine, students will learn the importance of healthy eating and how we each share a common agricultural heritage in the Valley."

Wild About Reading utilizes baseball to promote reading in and outside the classroom. Each student at participating schools is challenged to read 10 books in five weeks, and those students that reach the goal receive two free tickets to a 2013 Grizzlies home game at Chukchansi Park. Also, there are several prizes and giveaways this year, including a play date with Parker for the school with the highest participation, Kindle Fire giveaways to lucky readers at Grizzlies games and two laptops donated to the school with the highest game attendance.

The Farm Grown magazine, designed and published by the Grizzlies Community Fund and Farm Progress, will be given to each student enrolled in Wild About Reading. The magazine includes the new featured story "Parker Goes To The Farm," in which Grizzlies mascot Parker and his friends go around the Central Valley learning about farming and how food goes from the fields to our plates. Farm Grown magazine also contains puzzles and games for students in kindergarten to eighth grade.

The number of students enrolled in the Wild About Reading program has nearly doubled since 2008. Leading up to the Grizzlies Opening Day on April 4th, 2013, Parker and the Grizzlies front office will visit schools in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties for fun and entertaining Wild About Reading assemblies.

Interested schools are still able to enroll in Wild About Reading for 2013. Please contact Whitney Campbell at (559) 320-2547 to sign up as well as schedule an assembly featuring Parker.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.