Going to bat for reading
Going to Bat for reading!
Posted on 03/16/2017
Picture of someone in a big unicorn outfit reading to elementary students

Utica Community Schools (UCS) and the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) are once again teaming up to make sure students are hitting a home run when it comes to their reading.

UCS and the League are using “March is Reading Month” to promote an incentive-based program that encourages students to meet school reading goals.

“The reading partnership reflects the commitment of the entire UCS community to develop a lifelong love of reading in our students,” said superintendent Dr. Christine Johns.

The reading incentive program – called “Lancelot’s Learners League” after the local Utica Unicorns team mascot – will recognize students who meet goals for either time spent reading, number of pages read or number of books read during March.

Grade level teams at each school have established reading requirements for reaching first base, second base, third base or home plate.

Students who score a “home run” will receive a ticket to a special school night at a Utica Unicorns home game. Family members will receive a discounted ticket price for the school game night.

Last year, ten UCS schools participated in the program. The program has been expanded to include 18 elementary schools this year.

The reading incentive follows other partnerships established by USPBL and UCS.

Over the past year, the district and league have announced $21,000 in scholarships, student-designed and constructed bat and helmet racks at Jimmy John’s Field, upgrades to softball and baseball fields at Eppler Junior High School and a sold out Back to School celebration last August.

“We are pleased to support Utica Community Schools and its efforts to make sure students have every tool to be successful,” said Andy Appleby, league founder and president and chief executive officer of Rochester, Michigan-based General Sports and Entertainment.