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Abdelkader promotes reading program

by Christy Hammond / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings and forward Justin Abdelkader announced their partnership today on the Red Wings for Reading program to encourage Michigan elementary students to read this school year. Abdelkader will donate a pair of Red Wings upper bowl tickets to each home game during the 2012-13 regular season to incentivize kids to read for fun. Students who win the chance to attend a Red Wings game will receive two tickets, a pair of meal vouchers, a goody bag with promotional items and an autographed Abdelkader photo. Winning students will be recognized at the game as Abby’s All Stars.

"I've enjoyed visiting classrooms and reading ‘The Little Engine That Could’ to elementary students over the last two years in March as part of National Reading Month," Abdelkader said, "but I wanted to do something more to encourage Michigan students to read. Both my father and sister are teachers so I've always valued the importance of education and I am still taking courses at Michigan State every summer as I work toward my degree in general business management. I hope this new program will get kids excited about reading."

To enter, any Michigan elementary student between kindergarten and fifth grade must read three of Abdelkader’s favorite children’s books for their respective age group and then have their guardian submit an entry form, available at, confirming that the child read those three books. Each participating student will receive a Red Wings reading fan pack, which includes a 2” x 7” two-sided bookmark featuring Abdelkader, a temporary Red Wings tattoo and a personalized certificate congratulating the student on reading all three books.

Kindergarten – Second Grade Books:

1. “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper

2. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess

3. “The Magic School Bus” by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

Third – Fifth Grade Books:

1. “Mr. Popper's Penguins” by Richard Atwater

2. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren

3. “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl

The Red Wings will invite 50 students from the Michigan elementary school with the most entries each month to attend a team practice at Joe Louis Arena. In addition, Abdelkader will read to a couple of classrooms in March for the school with the most overall number of entries.

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