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Kessel Scores at the Kennedy Family Center

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
[Photo Gallery]

Phil Kessel in action.
Charlestown, MA -- Boston Bruins leading goal scorer Phil Kessel launched ReadBoston's Reading Trail Program on Monday, November 5 at the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center in Charlestown.

"I enjoyed it," said Kessel after meeting the children. "I had a lot of fun."

The Reading Trail Program is an early literacy program designed to increase reading at home and in childcare settings.  Kessel read to preschool students and passed out a free book (I Stink, the story of the garbage truck) to each child in attendance.

"It was a good time. (The children) behaved themselves well and they listened," said Kessel, who although nervous beforehand, was very, very pleased with the event, afterward.

This year, the Boston Bruins are partnering with ReadBoston and will participate in a number of events throughout the coming months.  In addition to Kessel's appearance on Monday, the Bruins will provide Reading Trail Programs with customized "trail guides" to track the number of books each child reads; those children who complete their trail guides will receive a Bruins bookmark.

Asked if he would be volunteering to read again, Phil gave an emphatic shake of the head and a loud "Yes." The children and their teachers appreciated the gesture and he was given the latest (if not the most important) standing "O" of his career and the kids waved their new book and said "Thank you, Phil."

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and other city leaders founded ReadBoston in 1995 with a simple, ambitious mission: to ensure that every child in Boston can read at grade level by the third grade.  ReadBoston is making great strides to achieve its goal by forming partnerships with city organizations committed to children's literacy, and by funneling resources, innovative programs, books and best practices into Boston neighborhoods.

Kessel and the 7-5-1 Bruins are in the midst of a nine-game stretch where the Bruins face only their Northeast Division rivals - with three scheduled against the Sabres and two games each against the Maple Leafs, Senators and Canadiens - over the next three weeks.
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