The HPT HiToms have partnered with eight area schools to launch a reading achievement program that incentivizes young students to read more frequently.
Scheduled from January 21 to May 15, "Read Around the Bases" will focus on inspiring young people to achieve literacy goals in pursuit of personal growth, prizes and public recognition.
"We are extremely excited to launch this program as part of our longstanding commitment to the community," HiToms president Greg Suire. "We want to continue to expand our outreach beyond the white lines of the baseball field."
"We believe 'Read Around the Bases' will create excitement in casual reading for students and showcase the profound impact reading can have on maturity and success."
The HiToms will visit and debut the program during the next two weeks in each of the participating schools - Trinity Elementary, Thomasville Primary, Liberty Drive Elementary, Fair Grove Elementary, Brier Creek Elementary, Pilot Elementary, Allen Jay Elementary, and Montlieu Academy of Technology.
To incentivize students to read more frequently, the HiToms will provide teachers with scorecards to track students' progress. Students will receive rewards as they reach bases - including pens, coupons, bookmarks, and even up to four HiToms tickets.
Teachers and administrators will be able to monitor the progress of students and the reception of rewards.
"Read Around the Bases" also will introduce Gurdy the Goose as the sidekick of HPT's mascot, TomKat. TomKat and Gurdy will venture to area landmarks in the High Point-Thomasville area through a custom coloring book called "TomKat Trails," to be distributed to schools in the spring.
The program will also feature multiple visits to the participating schools from HiToms coaches and players as a way to energize and motivate students to pursue and love reading.
"We are all about connecting with people," Suire said. "Our players are on a collegiate academic track and understand the importance of reading and education. It's a great example for the youth of our community."
Everything culminates in May when the HiToms visit the schools for a final time during field days in May. Students at all eight schools will then be the HiToms' special guests at two games early in the summer - May 25 vs. Kernersville and June 2 vs. North Wake.
Participating students and faculty will be recognized at the game, with artwork from the "TomKat Trails" coloring book displayed at Finch Field.
For a full explanation of Read Around the Bases, click here to see our video presentation.