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RedHawks kick off I Love to Read Month at WDC

Photos by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks helped kick off Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary's "I LOVE TO READ MONTH" Wednesday at WDC Elementary. Mr. Savoie gives "Hawkeye", RedHawks mascot, a high five.1 / 2
WDC K-6 students excited about reading and RedHawks baseball!2 / 2

Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary is going to "have a ball" this February! Baseball is this year's theme, thanks to a four-week reading program called Hawkeye's BookWorms, being sponsored by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks minor league baseball team.

The RedHawks baseball team's mascot, Hawkeye, and Michael Stark, the RedHawks reading program promoter, came to Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School from Fargo, N.D., Wednesday morning, for a school-wide assembly to kick off I Love to Read Month for K-6 students.

Hawkeye and Stark rallied WDC students throughout the assembly with enthusiastic cheering, fun contests and an overview of the reading program. By the end of the assembly, the kids were ready to begin reading!

According to Stark, the reading program's goals are set up like a baseball diamond. Each student starts at home and at the end of the week, if they meet their reading goal, they reach first base and receive a prize. This continues for four weeks. At the end of the fourth week, they will reach home plate and have "Hit A Home Run" reading! By hitting a home run, they have completed the program and won a ticket to any RedHawks regular season home game during the 2012 season.

The RedHawks BookWorm program is designed to benefit children of all ages and reading abilities. Each teacher sets their own reading level for each child, so they are challenged, explained Loni Niles, media center specialist at WDC.

"We will provide reading incentives and prizes for K-6 students, in addition to the baseball game tickets provided by the RedHawks, for those who meet their weekly goals which are set by each teacher," explained Niles.

Stark said the objective of the RedHawks' reading program is to motivate students to read and then continue that love of reading throughout school and beyond.

"It's a win-win for us and for students - they read and get rewarded for reaching their goals. Then they get to attend America's favorite pastime - baseball!"