The Washington Nationals are proud to announce a first of its kind partnership with the DC Public Library and the DC Public Library Foundation to serve as presenting sponsor for the 2014 Summer Reading program. In addition, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation will contribute a $4,000 grant to the DC Public Library Foundation, which the DC Public Library will use to purchase baseball-themed books.
Beginning this month and running through August, the 2014 Summer Reading program is comprised of age-specific initiatives that the Nationals will support in a variety of ways:
- Registered kids up to the age of five will receive a Nationals/DC Public Library soft baseball.
- District students between the ages of six and 12 who sign up for the program will receive a Nationals Activity Book consisting of fun baseball-related activities in the areas of math, science and geography.
- All District students enrolled in the program will be rewarded with two tickets to a select Nationals game for reaching the summer reading goal of eight hours.
- Nationals players will visit local libraries in July to read to program participants.
"As a kid, my Mom always stressed the importance of school and learning as much as we could," Nationals center fielder Denard Span said. "Reading is a big part of academic success and it needs to be an ongoing activity outside the classroom. I'm pleased to be an ambassador for the Summer Reading program and look forward to reading to kids at the library later this summer."
The Summer Reading Program is the largest program in the city that addresses the "summer slide," or the loss of learning that children experience during the summer months. Through this partnership, the Nationals aim to reach more than 12,000 children and encourage continued learning during their summer vacation.
"Students in the District deserve a summer enrichment experience that helps them return to school in the fall ready to tackle the next grade," said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library. "Thanks to the Washington Nationals support, DC Public Library's Summer Reading program will ensure that kids are reading and learning all year long."
The Summer Reading Program will officially kick off this Saturday, June 14 with the Summer Reading Festival at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., kids of all ages can take part in a variety of activities, including story time, face painting, crafts and even a visit from the Nationals Racing Presidents. For more information, visit nationals.com/summerreading or dclibrary.org/summerreading.