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Woodward earns $1,000 from Ports for reading effort
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STOCKTON — The Stockton Ports, reigning champions of the California League, will award Walter Woodward Elementary School in Manteca $1,000, for having the highest percentage of participation in the Ports Baseball by the Books reading program, in an on-field, pre-game ceremony on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

“The Ports are excited to honor Walter Woodward Elementary School teachers and students for their participation in our reading program and for their dedication to literacy,” said Danielle Alt, Ports community relations manager. “Our reading program has flourished this season, and it’s always great to see more students enjoy reading. We’re proud to help promote literacy in our community, and proud of the success of each student and teacher who participated in the Baseball by the Books program this year!”

Baseball by the Books was founded in 2007, and participation in the program has grown each season. In 2009, 32 schools and nearly 28,000 students in San Joaquin County have participated in the program. The program, which begins in January, includes Ports front office staff members and the Ports lovable mascot, Splash, traveling to participating schools to deliver a kick-off presentation to the students.

The reading program runs for five weeks, and teachers have the flexibility to plan their own weekly reading requirements for their students. Students record their weekly reading for each of the 5 weeks on a bookmark provided by the Ports. Each student who successfully completes the program receives two free tickets to a designated Ports game. The school which uses the highest percentage of awarded Ports tickets receives $1,000 for their school’s PTA.

The Ports are excited to recognize Walter Woodward Elementary School as their $1,000 winner for 2009. School administrators, teachers, students, family and friends from Walter Woodward Elementary School will be in attendance at the Ports game on August 22 for special recognition of their dedication to literacy.

“Woodward School students love to participate in the Baseball by the Books program,” said Walter Woodward Elementary School Vice Principal Rebecca Robinson. “We invite Splash to visit at the kick-off and the students take it from there. Teachers and parents encourage the students to read and everyone looks forward to attending the baseball game for having completed their reading challenge. We are happy to participate in this wonderful program and look forward to it every year. Students actually ask, ‘When will Splash be here this year?’”

For more information about the Baseball by the Books program or to get your school involved in the program for 2010, please contact the Stockton Ports front office at (209) 644-1900.