Coach Larranaga and Several Players Tip Off Reading Program
Feb. 20, 2009
George Mason's men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga spoke to an auditorium full of middle school students on Thursday at Lanier Middle School to tip off the Ticket to Reading Rewards program, a new initiative by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Patriots seniors John Vaughan, Chris Fleming, both on track to graduate in May, and sophomore Cam Long attended the event to encourage the kids to read and to thank the community.
"It's a collaborative effort between the teachers, students, George Mason University, our basketball players and the NABC, and we are happy to be involved," said Larranaga. "We really believe that our players are very fortunate to be attending George Mason University and it's a nice opportunity for the players to encourage youngsters to read and to volunteer their time. This event is just one of our ways of thanking the people of Fairfax and the community."
Vaughan reiterated the importance of reading. "I didn't have any programs like this when I was in middle school," he said. "Fortunately I had my mother, who is a teacher and principal sending the message of the importance of reading."
The Ticket to Reading Rewards program will be conducted primarily in FCPS middle school after-school programs and will provide rewards to students who read specific numbers of books. The program is designed to increase independent reading among middle school students. Among the rewards will be complimentary tickets to local college basketball games. Each student who enrolls in the program will receive a free one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids.