The Whitecaps' "Crash" accepts a hug from a student after donating books to her school. Photo via fb.com
Baseball won’t start until next month, so the Whitecaps Community Foundation is encouraging students to engage in other forms of leisure.
The charitable arm of the West Michigan Whitecaps is donating 1,900 books to five Grand Rapids Public Schools in an effort to increase reading during March is Reading Month.
Books were chosen by GRPS teachers and will be delivered today and tomorrow to students at Brookside Elementary, Mulick Park Elementary, Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary, Cesar Chavez Elementary and Burton Elementary.
The volume donated will ensure each student at the schools will receive one free book.
The schools were chosen due to their designations as high-priority schools in the GRPS system.
It is the second year the Whitecaps Community Foundation has provided free reading materials to students, as the organization donated 300 books — one for each student — to Dickinson Elementary School last year.
The donations are part of the foundation’s reading program, which encourages students to read at least 15 minutes a day during March. Children who achieve that milestone can attend a free Whitecaps game between April and June.
The Whitecaps Community Foundation provides free support materials for the program, including tracking calendars and posters.
Last year’s program had more than 70,000 K-6 students participate from 268 schools, providing nearly 20,000 complimentary tickets to children and their families.
The Whitecaps Community Foundation is a nonprofit focused on providing children and their families with access to social, educational and recreational programs that will enrich their lives.
Last year, the foundation gave more than $555,000 to local children through these programs via a combination of donations and fundraising efforts.