May 17, 2011 - Atlantic League (AtL) - York Revolution
(York, Pa.): The York Revolution's reading program, aimed at elementary school-aged children, reached new heights in 2011, with 50 schools and 19,000 students participating in "Boomer's Book Club" this school year. The numbers are all-time highs for the program, which experienced an increase of 5,500 students from last year. Students will begin cashing in on their prizes this Thursday night, the first of three special Boomer's Book Club dates at Revolution home games.
Over the first few years of its existence, the program remained basically the same. Coined "Rev Up Reading", the Revolution visited area schools, performed a short assembly with mascot DownTown to promote the importance of reading and to drum up excitement among students, and asked students to read four books as part of the program. Those who did would receive a free ticket to a Revolution home game. The program gained popularity among students, parents, and teachers alike.
During the winter of 2010, the Revolution turned to the newest addition of the Revolution family, tabbing team dog Boomer as the face of the program, which was rebranded "Boomer's Book Club." Boomer joined DownTown on tour this winter, and the Revs rolled out a brand new package with four different prize levels for the kids. More incentives, and way more fun.
With Heritage Valley Federal Credit Union on board as the presenting sponsor, the Revs debuted "Boomer's Book Club" with a visit to returning participant Wrightsville Elementary on January 18. The new prize levels and expanded program were an instant hit.
This season, students only needed to read one book to receive a free ticket to a Revolution home game, as the same cool prize from years past was much more attainable. But students who went the extra mile really benefited.
Students who read a second book also received a Kids Meal voucher with their game ticket, which included a Hatfield Hot Dog, Martin's Potato Chips, and a Pepsi. Students who read a third book also received a ticket voucher to the 2011 Atlantic League All-Star Game on July 13, and students who read all four books received a Boomer's Book Club T-Shirt, the top prize to go along with everything else.
From January through early May, Revolution staff, with DownTown, Boomer, and the Atlantic League championship trophy in tow, visited schools all over York County and Adams County on an almost daily basis. A total of 15 school districts had schools that were part of the program, as well as numerous private schools from around the area.
The assemblies typically served as a kick-off platform to introduce the program at each school, with a Revs staffer on microphone to explain the program, the importance of reading and working hard, and to pump up the crowd about participating in "Boomer's Book Club". A short story entitled "The Grasshopper and the Ants", acted out by DownTown, would follow, with the moral of the story being that the harder kids work now (or the more they read), the bigger the payoff later, and that by reading their books now, they would get to experience the payoff of the prizes down the road. Some schools were also treated to a performance of "Casey at the Bat".
The Revs even enlisted pitchers Corey Thurman and Sean Stidfole to make a few visits and read to classrooms. One of the highlights of the tour was the Revs' trip to Friendship Elementary in Glen Rock, where students who read all four books were treated to a "Game Day", led by Thurman himself.
The tour finished on May 6 when Jason Richardson visited returning participant New Salem Elementary, as part of their end-of-program rewards assembly.
In addition to this Thursday's 6:30 p.m. game vs. the Road Warriors, the other two "Boomer's Book Club" prize redemption games are this Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m. vs. Long Island, and Monday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. vs. Somerset.