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Students Score Home Runs While Hitting the Books

February 25, 2020 - Coastal Plain League (Coastal Plain) - Wilson Tobs News Release

Wilson, N.C. - The Wilson Tobs are teaming up with Wilson County Schools & Greenfield School to expand our Elementary and Middle School reading achievement programs. These programs give students the opportunity to earn prizes and rewards for reading books. The programs are aptly named with baseball terms, "Read Around the Bases" which is in 12 Elementary Schools and "Swing for the Fences" which is in 6 Middle Schools.

"Read Around the Bases" is the elementary school reading program and has been in select Wilson schools for almost seven years. The program was restructured this year in order to ensure that all participating schools would be rewarded equally. Students in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade read books to advance around the bases and earn home runs. Students in 3rd grade through 5th grade read books and record pages read in order to earn home runs (200 pages = 1 Home Run). Once students earn a home run, they receive a free ticket to cheer on the Wilson Tobs at a 2020 Home Game. Students can earn up to 8 tickets and those who continue to excel at the program become Top Readers. Thanks to our sponsors: State Farm Jana Lake, The UPS Store, Pizza Inn and Wilson County Tourism Development Authority, the Tops Readers earn special prizes.

"Swing for the Fences" is the middle school reading program and has been in the schools for just three years. The program was designed with input from the middle school media coordinators to ensure that it would benefit the students in the best way. The "Swing for the Fences" program is based on how many pages a student reads in order to earn tickets. Students must read 300 pages in order to score a home run, then are rewarded with two tickets to any Wilson Tobs 2020 Home Game. Students can earn up to 18 tickets and those who excel at the program are named Top Readers. Thanks to our sponsors: Wilson Community College, Denny's, and Wilson County Tourism Development Authority, the Tops Readers earn additional prizes including one Top Reader from each school receiving a $100 Cash prize.

Through these programs, the Wilson Tobs are combining fun, free baseball tickets, with reading so students can see the benefit of what they can learn from books. "Our goal for these programs is to encourage students to find the fun in reading both in and out of the classroom," says Sara Killeen, AGM. Throughout the program, the Wilson Tobs provide small items to remind students to continue reading such as bookmarks, key-chains, and posters. "We believe the students are the future and we want to be there to encourage their growth in any way we can especially within the Wilson community," says Killeen.

At the end of the programs, there are special Celebration games where students are recognized for their achievements. The Swing for the Fences Celebration is held on Tuesday, May 26th and the Read Around the Bases Celebration is on Tuesday, June 4th. Anyone interested in learning more can visit to see videos detailing information about the programs, sponsors and school officials.

The Wilson Tobs home opener, Band Jam, and Firework Show for the 2020 season is Sunday, May 24th @ 6:15 PM. The 2nd Firework Show of the season will be Thursday, July 2nd @ 6:15 PM and a 3rd fireworks show is TBA. Season tickets and ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (252) 291-8627, or by visiting

The Wilson Tobs enter their 24th season as a founding member of the Coastal Plain League. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see an expanded community outreach effort, increased participation in helping the less fortunate, a Pettit Cup Championship team, and more exciting entertainment for the Wilson Community. We would like to dedicate each successful season to the Wilson Community, Coastal Plain League Organization, Host Families, Corporate Partners, and the Dedicated Fans throughout the city of Wilson. The Wilson Tobs have played host to over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced a dozen players who have gone on to play in the MLB, including Cy Young & MVP winner Justin Verlander. For more information on the Wilson Tobs, visit our website

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