– Washington Capitals captain Jeff Halpern
and mascot Slapshot visited Cyndi Eaton’s fifth-grade class at Highland School in Warrenton, Va., Wednesday, May 31, to celebrate their victory in the Capitals’ Reading Is Cool contest for the 2005-06 school year. The 34 fifth-graders read more than 3,500 books during January and February.
Earlier, Eaton’s class received box seats to a Capitals game in April, where they were recognized on the video board and visited by Capitals left wings Ben Clymer and Matt Pettinger.
Halpern began his visit by congratulating the students and presenting Eaton with a Capitals team-signed hockey stick and jersey. He talked to the class about the importance of reading and education, noting that he planned to fall back on his Princeton education when his days of professional hockey are over. Halpern then held an extensive question-and-answer session, signed autographs and took pictures with the students, teachers and administrators.
The Washington Capitals created the Reading Is Cool program to encourage students to develop essential reading habits while also demonstrating the importance of working as a team towards a common goal. This year more than 200 classes comprising nearly 5,000 third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students participated in the Reading Is Cool program from Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland.