Tampa Bay Rays DJ Kitty reading to a student.

By Deven King

During the summer, students forget a lot of their education that they learned throughout the school year during the summer. But, by doing academics throughout the summer, students can better retain the things they previously learned.

The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team is helping with this problem. Presented by Suncoast Credit Union, Reading with the Rays helps students keep their minds active during the summer through the help of their local library.

Once again, this summer, the Rays are encouraging kids in the Tampa Bay area to read. Open to those in elementary through high school, students are encouraged to pick their favorite books to read over the summer. By reading for a total of 24 hours, students can earn two tickets to a Rays baseball game and other little prizes along the way. Students can get a card to fill out either from the Rays’ website or from their local library for their parents to sign off on as they read.

Students can also get book recommendations and listen to books on the Rays’ website.

Summer camps are also taking advantage of this free promotion to encourage their kids to read to prepare them for the years ahead. This summer, Carey Blount, a summer camp worker and mother of a fourth grader, has implemented Reading with the Rays into the summer campers’ activity time.

“Reading with the Rays is a great way to have your kids read, and it gives them an incentive to do it on their own and find books that they enjoy.”

Children are also finding a love of reading.

A sixth grader participating in the program this summer said, “Reading allows me to spread my imagination out.”

Over 300,000 students have completed the Rays’ program throughout the years. For 15 years, Reading with the Rays has been used in over 11 counties to help kids keep their minds sharp for when they return to school in the fall.

For more information, visit www.mlb.com/rays/community/reading or call your local library.

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