SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County is once again going to bat with the Baltimore Orioles and the Big League Reader program to encourage youth leadership and foster a love of reading.
Children who sign up at a county library and read three or more books during February can earn a free reserved grandstand ticket to the Orioles’ March 11 spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium.
Now in its seventh consecutive year, the Big League Reader program is a collaboration between the county’s public library system and the Orioles.
Children ages 6 and older may visit any of the nine Sarasota County libraries and pick up a Big League Reader scorecard to participate. After finishing three books, readers return to the library to get their scorecards stamped and signed by a library staff member, entitling them to a free reserved grandstand ticket to the Orioles’ March 11 game.
This year, the first 100 kids who finish the program will also receive a free T-shirt when they return to the library and get their scorecard stamped. Big League Readers will also have the opportunity to enter their names into a drawing for the chance to throw out the first pitch at the game.
All books must be read and scorecards stamped by March 8. Stamped scorecards should be redeemed for a grandstand ticket at the Orioles box office by March 8. An adult companion ticket will be available at a reduced rate. Seating is limited.
“It’s a great program that kids love,” said Sarabeth Kalajian, Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources director. “Most kids start out with the intention of earning a ticket to the game. In the end, not only do they experience a great day at the ballpark, they learn that reading opens doors and leads to new adventures. We appreciate the Orioles for their generous support of this literacy partnership.”
Sarasota County libraries and the Orioles are looking forward to another successful season.
“The Orioles strongly support youth literacy in our community,” said David Rovine, vice president of Orioles-Sarasota. “Teaming up with Sarasota County’s libraries gives us an opportunity to encourage youngsters to read, while rewarding Big League Readers with a day of fun at Ed Smith Stadium.”
For more details on the Big League Reader program, visit www.scgov.net or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.
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