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Celtics, 'Wimpy Kid' author launch reading initiative

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  December 21, 2011 01:26 PM

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(Photo by Eric Cox)

'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' author Jeff Kinney (right) and Boston Celtics president Rich Gotham read to students at the Harvard-Kent Elementary School.

The Boston Celtics relaunched a learning program that encourages elementary school students to read, helps them set goals, and offers prizes with the help of Charlestown students this week.

Students at the Harvard-Kent School saw some trick slam dunks and heard words of encouragement Monday as Celtics president Rich Gotham and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series author Jeff Kinney promoted the NBA’s Read to Achieve program.

The newly redesigned program aims to encourage students to read on their own for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. Students who meet the monthly goal, as tracked on a personal bookmark, will be given a Celtics prize.

“By using the influence of basketball, the Read To Achieve program is focused on encouraging and fostering a life-long love of reading among under-served students throughout the city of Boston,” Gotham said in a statement.

The program worked with ReadBoston to identify 3,000 students in grades one through 5 from ten Boston schools to participate in the program.

Kinney, who lives in Massachusetts, read to students and talked about the importance of reading and learning with them before giving each class a signed copy of his popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

As part of the Read to Achieve program, the Celtics have also opened reading and learning centers at the YWCA of Greater Lawrence in 2002 and the Roxbury YMCA in 2003 where children can read, study, or work on computers.

Follow us on Twitter @CharlestownNews.

Kaiser can be reached at johanna.yourtown@gmail.com or on Twitter @JohannaKaiser.

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