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Atlanta Braves announce "Home Run Readers" summer reading program

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This summer, the Atlanta Braves and the National Education Association's (NEA) "Read Across America" and the Georgia Association of Educators are partnering with Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) for the 2013 Atlanta Braves Summer Reading Program, "Home Run Readers."

This new educational outreach program encourages students to build a love for reading, as well as advance their reading skills during the summer months. Home Run Readers rewards students in grades K-12 throughout Georgia by providing one free Braves ticket for each participant who reads at least one book about sports or good sportsmanship. Discounted tickets for accompanying family members and friends will be available for $7 each.

All-Star pitcher Tim Hudson and All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla will serve as Atlanta Braves ambassadors for the Home Run Readers program.

"We know that reading and literacy will provide a platform for success and the keen knowledge to make wise decisions not only in school, but throughout their entire lives," said Executive Vice President of the Atlanta Braves, Derek Schiller. "The Atlanta Braves are proud to provide a reward for the hardworking kids in the state of Georgia."

Reward tickets can be redeemed for any of the five following games:

  • Sunday, June 30, vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Tuesday, July 2, vs. Miami Marlins
  • Monday, July 29, vs. Colorado Rockies
  • Thursday, August 1, vs. Colorado Rockies
  • Sunday, August 11, vs. Miami Marlins

"We are extremely pleased and excited about this partnership and to be able to offer these wonderful reading incentives to young people and families across the state," said Dr. Lamar Veatch, Georgia's state librarian. "A program that encourages education while providing fun for the entire family is a true treasure. Home Run Reading and its related events will be excellent examples of our three organizations' joint commitment to every community in Georgia."

"Just because school is out doesn't mean students should take a break from reading," said Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president. "When students return to their classrooms in the fall, we want reading to top the list of what they did this summer."

"This effort is a natural extension of our Read Across America programs held in spring," said Calvine Rollins, president of the Georgia Association of Educators. "Although summer brings a welcome break from the rigors of the school year, it's extremely important to ensure our children are keeping up with and enhancing their reading skills during their time off."

Additionally, the Braves will host GPLS days at Turner Field on three separate dates. GPLS and local library staff will be on hand to enable those fans that don't already have a library card to sign up for one at the stadium. The GPLS Days are slated for June 30 against the Diamondbacks, August 18 vs. the Nationals, and September 15 as the Braves take on the San Diego Padres.

Home Run Readers is open to all Georgia students in grades K-12 and runs through August 11. Program rules, a list of suggested titles, registration information and redemption forms are available online at www.braves.com/reading.

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