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February 28, 2012
For immediate release

Professional basketball players promote literacy in Island schools

Education and Early Childhood Development

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The Island’s professional basketball team is visiting schools this week to promote the importance of developing strong literacy skills, says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Alan McIsaac.

“Literacy skills continue to be a main focus in our school system and we are pleased to see community-minded organizations such as the Summerside Storm taking time to visit classrooms to read and discuss books with young Islanders,” said Minister McIsaac. “Teachers and students alike are welcoming this new program because it’s providing a unique way to engage students in learning.”

Reading up a Storm is a literacy program developed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in partnership with the Summerside Storm of the National Basketball League of Canada.

Professional athletes who visit grades 4 to 9 classrooms will support provincially authorized programming by sharing the joys of reading and what it means to them to be effective readers. Players who visit grade 10 to 12 classes will be involved in book talks to summarize the essential elements of their favourite book and read a short passage to help students gain an appreciation for the value and enjoyment of reading.

“Players from the National Basketball League have strong educational backgrounds after attending universities and colleges in the United States and in Canada,” said Duncan Shaw, co-owner of the Summerside Storm. “These young men are committed athletes on the basketball court and they also understand the importance of staying in school and pursuing an education and career after sports. We are excited to have the opportunity to go back to school to help promote the importance of literacy.”

Members of the Summerside Storm are scheduled to visit several Island classrooms including Tignish Elementary School, Cardigan Consolidated School, Amherst Cove Consolidated in Borden-Carleton, and Parkside Elementary in Summerside.

The Island’s professional basketball team is hoping to continue the Reading up a Storm program in the 2012-2013 school year. The final home game for the Storm is Friday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. against the Oshawa Power at Credit Union

Media Contact: Major Stewart
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