Jody Shelley, Trevor Letowski, Manny Malhotra and Aaron Johnson
joined 150 top readers and their guests for a skate on the main ice at Nationwide Arena on Thursday, rewarding the students who read the most minutes in the Blue Jackets Book Jackets program.
The Blue Jackets Book Jackets, established in 2001, is an incentive-based program that was created to encourage students in grades K-8 to spend their free time exercising their minds by reading. The goal is for students to spend a minimum of 800 minutes reading over a six-week period with Blue Jackets gifts and exclusive opportunities granted as a reward for all who complete the requirements.
This year, over 2,600 students from over 90 Central Ohio schools collectively read more than 4.5 million minutes over the course of the six-week program. Students in grades kindergarten through 8th were eligible to participate.
The Blue Jackets Book Jackets program has two phases. In the activation phase, schools and/or individuals sign up for the program. Participants are then broken down into three age groups: grades K-2, grades 3-5, and grades 6-8. Students who read a minimum of 800 minutes over a six-week period of time receive a Book Jackets medal and certificate.
The top 1000 readers are awarded a Blue Jackets T-shirt, readers with over 1200 minutes are awarded All-Star status, while the top 50 readers in each age group earn an invitation to skate with several Blue Jackets celebrities on the Nationwide Arena ice.
Phase two is meant to increase awareness for the program as well as communicate the joys and importance of reading. Blue Jackets celebrities team up with team mascot, Stinger, and local Columbus Metropolitan Library locations to hold celebrity reading appearances throughout central Ohio.
The Blue Jackets celebrities read to the Book Jackets participants at these events, demonstrating the joy of reading. The students interact with the players in this informal atmosphere. Any individuals or schools interested in participating should contact the Blue Jackets Community Development Department either by e-mail at kfurman@BlueJackets.com or by phone at 614-246-FANS (3267).
Congratulations to each of the following classrooms with the highest total minutes read: Kindergarten - 2nd grade division: Oregon Elementary - Ms. Reeves class
3rd - 5th grade division: St. Brendan - Ms. Duffey's class
6th - 8th grade division: Cardington JR High - Ms. Crissinger's class
Congratulations to each of the following students with the highest total minutes read: Kindergarten - 2nd grade division: East Elementary - Erica VanHoose
3rd - 5th grade division: Hoffman Trails Elementary - Brooke Fraley
6th - 8th grade division: New Albany Middle School - Julie Park