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TinCaps, Longe Optical Expand Children's Reading Program

Partnership Expands Region's Largest Private Literacy Program
April 16, 2014

Fort Wayne, IN - The Fort Wayne TinCaps, Longe Optical, and PBS39 (WFWA) are pleased to announce a multi-year partnership in expanding the TinCaps Reading Program, a venture that serves more than 100,000 children in the Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio regions. The addition of a corporate sponsor to the TinCaps Reading Program ensures that the reach of the effort will expand beyond schools and libraries, and into Longe Optical's four retail locations, helping children improve their reading skills.

Longe Optical, now the exclusive eye care provider of the TinCaps, will make signups for the program available at all of their retail locations, meaning the TinCaps Reading Program will see an unprecedented reach throughout the region.

"The Fort Wayne TinCaps Reading Program is one of the best initiatives the team does, and one of the most impactful from any team in the country," said TinCaps President Mike Nutter. "The focus on literacy and our youth is extremely important to the TinCaps and our mission of serving the community. To have Longe Optical involved is a great thing for the program. Longe Optical is a well-known and respected area business, and now with their involvement more children and families will be reached. Their support guarantees that a program that has been making a difference for almost 15 years will continue long into the future."

The TinCaps Reading Program is a community initiative which encourages students to read by setting individual goals for number of books, number of pages, hours spent reading, etc. Each student "rounds the bases", hitting benchmarks until the final goal is reached, and with that milestone comes a free ticket to a TinCaps game, a hot dog, and soft drink. Participating schools can also receive a visit from Johnny, the TinCaps mascot.

"We are tremendously excited to be the lead sponsor of the TinCaps Reading Program. It's such a logical partnership since reading skills are dependent on great vision," said Jeff Ostermann, President of Longe Optical. "We've been serving Fort Wayne's eye care needs for 65 years, and can think of no better investment in the future of our community than helping to ensure that our children can see and read their best."

PBS39, the northeast Indiana region's only public television station, continues its sponsorship of the TinCaps Reading Program.

"It has been a great opportunity to pair America's greatest pastime with America's number one source for educational programs," said PBS39 General Manager Bruce Haines. "As the nation's most-trusted and most-watched TV source for kids, PBS KIDS and PBS39 are uniquely positioned to pair with the TinCaps to help families keep the learning going while they have fun together."