Baseball mascots get Atwater students in the mood for reading

12/11/2013 4:23 PM

12/11/2013 11:25 PM

Bellevue School got two new laptop computers Wednesday, delivered by oversized bear and owl mascots from the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team. And if students meet a reading challenge, more prizes are possible.

Parker and Eddie the Owl from the Triple A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants baseball team had about 400 enthusiastic kindergarten through third-grade students engaged in comedic skits and cheering loudly during an interactive assembly. This was followed by other assemblies for older grades.

Jennifer Handy, principal of the 900-student campus encompassing kindergarten through eighth grades, said the new laptop computers would be pressed into service in the library for students to use in research and the school’s reading program.

Handy said the school has had its own reading encouragement program, which dovetails neatly with the Grizzlies’ Wild About Reading program.

“It reinforces the message we are sending to students,” Handy said.

In May, three busloads of Bellevue students went to a Grizzlies game, the most participation from a San Joaquin Valley school. That set the wheels in motion for donation of the computers.

If Bellevue students read 10 books in five weeks’ time, they will get free tickets to a Grizzlies home game at Chukchansi Park next year and be in line for other prizes.

Wild About Reading, the Fresno Grizzlies Community Fund reading program for kindergarten through eighth grade, is entering its 11th year. Schools in Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties are involved in the interactive assemblies, which utilize baseball to promote reading inside and outside of the classroom.

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