For many die-hard Sharks fans getting tickets to the 2006 Playoffs presented by Intersil required hours of waiting outside HP Pavilion at San Jose the morning tickets went on-sale. But for ten lucky elementary school students, the time-commitment was much more than a few hours. It was an entire school-year!
Each season several hundred K-6 grade classrooms in Santa Clara County participate in the Reading Is Cool program, presented by The Sharks Foundation, FSN Bay Area and The Mercury News. Near the end of the season, teachers enter the name of their Highest Reader of the Year into a grand prize drawing for a penthouse suite pizza party during a Sharks home game.
This years grand prize winners were Alex Boyd from Valle Vista Elementary, Eugene Chien from Booksin Elementary, Sara Merg from Forest Hill Elementary, Edgar Portillo from Cureton Elementary, Raquel Reginato from Gardner Academy, Riley Seitz from Forest Hill Elementary, Colton Smith from Alex Anderson Elementary, David Tran from Bishop Elementary, Karina Tran from Tom Matsumoto Elementary and Kevin Yang from Cumberland Elementary.
Each of these active readers was given two tickets to attend Game 4 of the first round match up between the Sharks and the Nashville Predators, which took place on April 27. But these weren’t just any tickets, these were tickets to the penthouse suite owned by Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov! During each home game Nabokov invites various children’s groups to enjoy the competition from his suite, groups that would not otherwise be able to attend.
The children enjoyed pizza and other goodies throughout the game, announced over the Public Address system and Jumbotron, given a special gift pack from Reading Is Cool spokes-mascot S.J. Sharkie and had the chance to meet Sharkie himself. And all it took was reading hundreds of books to make it happen.
Congratulations to this year’s Reading Is Cool Top Readers!