Catch Reading Fever with Jason Varitek

Catch the Reading Fever with Red Sox catcher, Jason Varitek, this year's MTA Red Sox Reading Game Verizon Literacy Champion.

The MTA and our corporate literacy partner Verizon are  committed to helping improve literacy in Massachusetts created this summer reading campaign for four years.  Half a million contest entries and 20,000 Jason Varitek Verizon Literacy Champion posters featuring the MTA/Red Sox Reading Game will be delivered to MTA K-8 schools across the state in May.  The contest is open to all K-8 students in the state.  Children who read nine books, one for each position on the ball field, will be eligible to win free tickets to the September 12th Red Sox Game at Fenway Park.

The summer reading contest is part of a broader literacy initiative called the Massachusetts Teachers Association/Boston Red Sox Reading Partnership.  Verizon funds the contest as part of its comprehensive national campaign to promote literacy and be America's literacy champion.

Last summer alone, students across Massachusetts pledged to read more than 300,000 books as a direct result of the Verizon Literacy Champion campaign.  Reading opens the door to achievement, and the involvement of role models like Jason Varitek brings attention to the joys of reading for children.

The campaign officially starts on April 30, 2003, with a reception at Fenway for community and literacy leaders.  And entries must be postmarked by August 15th in order to be considered.

In addition to the funding from the Verizon Foundation, the contest receives in-kind and cash contributions from the Red Sox, Boston Globe, Staples, Saturn, WEEI, Scholastic and Ask Jeeves.  This year, Borders will provide each entrant a 15% discount for the purchase of a book to encourage participation in this contest.  Last summer 250 student winners each won a family four-pack of tickets to Fenway Park.  In addition, as part of the reading contest $10,000 worth of gift certificates are awarded for school supplies and books for students and teachers.

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