FRESNO, Calif. - "Wild About Reading," one of the hallmark community initiatives organized by the Fresno Grizzlies through most of the franchise's history, is celebrating a milestone of over one million students reached through the program. With just shy of 100,000 (and counting) students participating during this school year at
FRESNO, Calif. - "Wild About Reading," one of the hallmark community initiatives organized by the Fresno Grizzlies through most of the franchise's history, is celebrating a milestone of over one million students reached through the program. With just shy of 100,000 (and counting) students participating during this school year at 156 schools, the literacy program has grown exponentially in the last six years.
Wild About Reading, which incentivizes students to read frequently beyond just their school curriculum, is now in its 15th year of operation. Reaching elementary schools in five counties (Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced and Tulare), the program has increased the total number of books read by area students by reaching at least 97,000 students each school year since 2012. The program has surpassed 100,000 students in a year three times, and this offseason the total number of students enrolled reached over one million during the life of the program.
Over 160 schools have been involved in the program the last three years - most holding a "kick-off assembly" featuring Grizzlies Mascot Parker T. Bear and Eddie the Owl from EECU. During the 2017-2018 offseason, Parker, Eddie and the Grizzlies' front office staff staged 205 total assemblies in the five-county area, sometimes doing multiple assemblies for a school. In addition to EECU, other presenting sponsors of Wild About Reading are Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, PG&E, Savemart Supermarkets and Gar Tootelian.
Since its beginnings in 2004, Wild About Reading has now reached over one million students, with incentives that include:
- Five Wild About Reading Grizzlies games during the 2018 season, with two (2) complimentary tickets for readers that participate in the program, for reading 10 additional books outside of school curriculum and turning in the bookmark which tracks that progress to the Chukchansi Park ticket office.
- Outstanding reader awards presented at games to four top students (nominated by teachers).
- Two students will win a tablet at each Wild About Reading game this season, drawn randomly by seat number.
- The school with the highest ticket redemption percentage to the Wild About Reading games wins a $500 bonus.
"A couple of seasons ago, we realized the one-million-student milestone was within reach, and it's a great credit to how excited kids in the Central Valley are about reading," said Whitney Campbell, director of community engagement and events for the Fresno Grizzlies. "We love having the incentive of Grizzlies baseball to promote more reading, but the students truly put in the time to realize reading is fun, baseball is fun, and combining the two is even more fun."
Special thanks is also owed to the follow partners in producing the annual "Farm Grown" magazine, the activity and info book that accompanies the program kickoff at each assembly: Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Sun-Maid, Gar Tootelian, Dave & Busters, Farm Credit and Port of Subs.#Growlifornia ABOUT THE FRESNO GRIZZLIES
The Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, are a member of the 16-team Pacific Coast League and one of 30 clubs in the world playing the highest level of Minor League Baseball. The team plays at 12,500-seat Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, which is also a year-round community gathering place, hosting myriad other special events beyond Grizzlies' games, such as concerts, professional soccer and high school sporting events. The Grizzlies will enter the 2018 season - their 21st in Fresno - on the momentum of three consecutive winning seasons, including a PCL and National Championship in 2015. For information on 2018 Fresno Grizzlies season ticket and mini-plans, fans should call the Grizzlies' ticket office at 559.320.TIXS between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.