Winners of Red Sox Reading Game attend game at Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox teamed up with The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, Inc. and the Massachusetts Teachers Association this summer to encourage more than 30,000 students to read more than 300,000 books through the MTA Red Sox Reading Game. One hundred reading game winners and their teachers won pairs of tickets to the game against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park on August 31.

The grand prize winners are Daniel Goldstein, who attends the Page-Hilltop School in Ayer; Matthew Bouley, who attends the Ryan Road Elementary School in Northampton; Kaitlyn Waystack, who attends the Steward Elementary School in Topsfield; Jacob Devonshire, who attends the Daniel Webster Elementary School in Marshfield; and Kia Shahbazi, who attends the Heath School in Brookline.

The winners will receive baseballs signed by Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who is the contest spokesperson, along with $100 Borders gift cards. As part of the festivities on August 31, they will tour Fenway and participate in an on-field recognition ceremony with Varitek.

“Our summer reading campaign is a grand slam for literacy across Massachusetts,” said MTA President Anne Wass. “It’s one of the many things MTA members do to help kids achieve – even when they are away from school during the summer.”

“We are happy that the MTA Red Sox Reading Game showed children how fun reading can be. All students that participated in this program are winners. Their reward is the knowledge gained from the books that they read over the summer,” said Linda McGowan, president of The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation. “The Red Sox Reading Game is a perfect fit for our mission—to help make our local communities better places in which to live, work and learn. As a company based in Worcester, we were thrilled to team with the MTA to help students throughout the state."

As part of the contest, the MTA distributed 20,000 Literacy Champion posters and more than half a million bookmarks and entry forms to K-8 schools across the state. The posters feature Varitek and Wally the Green Monster reading Pitching with the Papelbons.

The program was made possible through a grant from The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Boston Globe and the New England Sports Network.

In addition to the reading contest, the MTA has created a Web site, www.readingmatters.org, that focuses on the teaching and learning of reading and ways to help parents, teachers and communities raise successful readers. The site provides contest details and includes reading tips, activities and links to resources to help promote summer reading.