LuckySports,inc worked closely developing the Bullying
Awareness & Literacy Program with Richard Astro, PHD -
director of education and service programs for the New York
Mets and Provost Emeritus at Drexel University. The program
was developed to strengthen the basic
elements of literacy – reading and writing – to elementary
children plus gender equality. The program employs a baseball theme and sport
cartoon characters as a vehicle to help them experience the
fun and enjoyment of reading and writing.
Our objective is simple: to turn a child’s passion for
sports into a love affair of reading through books and
learning materials that educate, entertain and inspire
readers, especially young readers. We at
committed to producing the highest-quality educational
resources across a variety of sporting subjects and age
LuckySports,inc envisions children will be able to open
the literary door and experience the wonderful world of the
written word and to be able to express their thoughts and
ideas better through their readings and writings. And hoping
this program of reading and writing could spell the
difference between growing up literate or illiterate.
Our "Slide into Reading and Writing"
Program for schools was successfully introduced as a pilot
program to the Binghamton School District, New York last
year in partnership with the New York Mets.
The message was simple at Binghamton's Horace Mann
Elementary: More reading and writing, and less
bullying. Students heard the message from several
B-Mets players visiting the Binghamton school. The players
read some of the kids favorite children books along with
our LuckySports books to students, hoping they will read
fifteen minutes a day for nine days.
For each 15 minutes of daily reading (called an "inning")
students received a paper Homer with their name on it to
line the school hallways. Once a student reaches 9 innings,
he/she has earned a paper Slugger with their name on it
entitling them to “The Soccer Bully”
book as their reward.
Do you wish you had a bookworm? Children turn into lifelong
readers for all kinds of reasons. Here are some tips for
nurturing a love of reading that could last a lifetime.
Children become lifelong readers for all kinds of reasons.
Sometimes there's one key book that captures a child's
imagination and opens him/her up to the exciting world of
fiction. Other times, a teacher who assigns interesting
books in class sparks a desire for more big ideas and fine
writing. In some cases, parents influence their child's
appreciation of books by sharing their own love of
literature and modeling reader behavior -- always having a
book to read, taking books on vacation, reading before
bedtime, making regular trips to the library and bookstore,
Here are some tips for nurturing a love of reading that can
last a lifetime:
Read aloud: This comes naturally to lots of new
parents, but it's important to keep it up. Kids will enjoy
it longer than you think. For babies, toddlers,
preschoolers, and children in early elementary school, it's
wonderful to have a child on your lap, snuggled next to you
on the couch, or drifting off to sleep in bed as you enjoy
picture books together. You may have to read your child's
favorite a hundred times, but just go with it. Your child
will remember the closeness as well as the story. And try
nonfiction for those who are curious about pirates, Vikings,
robots, castles, history, sports, biography, animals,
Many parents think that as soon as their youngsters learn to
read on their own, they no longer need to be read to. But
kids still love it and benefit from it as they hear the
rhythm of the language, learn correct pronunciation, and get
to relax and just take it all in. Kids will get the idea
that there's something worthwhile in books and that there's
something special about time spent with a parent.
Savor the series: It's common for kids to become book
lovers for life after getting hooked on a series. And there
are lots of good ones that keep kids hungry for the next
Grab onto a genre: Kids go through phases of genres
they're passionate about, from girl detectives to science
fiction and fantasy. Don't get hung up on whether it's
considered great literature (although some genre books are).
Be happy that your kid is devouring books one after the
Feed the favorite-author addiction: Once your kids
finds a writer they love, they may want to read all of
his/her books -- a great excuse for a trip to the library or
an opportunity for book swapping among friends and
Count on the Classics: Books are called classics
because they continue to engage readers generation after
generation. There are no guarantees, but you could try
introducing your kids to books you loved as a kid and see
which ones click.
Find Books About the Things Your Kid Loves: If your
child adores horses, librarians, booksellers, and Internet
searches will help you find books on any favorite topic.
Funny Is Fine: Some parents wrestle with letting
their kids read edgy humor books about kids getting in
trouble. Talk to your children about the content, but keep
in mind that kids like these books not because they want to
imitate the characters' actions but because they can live
vicariously through their bad behavior. Humor is a great
pathway to book loving.
Comics Are OK: Graphic novels are among the hottest
trends in children's publishing, and they can get kids
hooked on reading.
Make Reading a Family Value: Actions speak louder
than words. Take your kids to the library once a week or
once a month to get new books, make regular outings to your
local bookstore, hunt for low-cost books at used bookstores
or second-hand shops, and show kids that finding a good book
is like a treasure hunt.
Fit reading into your family lifestyle. Set aside time for
reading only -- turning off the TV, computer, and cell
phone. Encourage focused reading time, either for
independent reading or reading aloud. Take preschoolers to
story time hours at libraries and bookstores. For older
kids, a parent-kid book club can be fun. Read to kids at
bedtime. Provide time and space for your kids to read for
pleasure in the car (if they don't get car sick!), on
vacation, after homework is done, on their own before bed.
Warning: It could be habit-forming!
For some students, the message goes further than academics.
"Our students in grades two and three will be writing
stories related to bullying and we're going to be working
with the Mets on reading and anti-bullying," says Peter
Stewart Principal at Binghamton's Horace Mann Elementary
The principal says the elementary school serves as the
foundation for not just education, but character building as
Boys’ lack of interest in reading
Reading may be fundamental, but too many boys in middle school lack that
critical educational building block.
For the last decade, educators fretted over the academic gender gap --
girls outperforming boys on standardized tests -- yet the divide remains
obvious in reading.
There is plenty of blame to go around -- disengaged parents,
uninterested publishing houses, distracting video games and teaching
styles -- but not as many clear answers.
"I would say there is a crisis," said Walter Dean Myers, a children's
book author. "Too many parents have walked away from this idea ... that
education is a family concept, is a community concept, is not simply
something that schools do."
There is also hope.
Myers spoke recently at the University of Washington's Information
School on "Books & Boys -- Making It Work!"
The debate over whether boys are falling behind and in crisis has raged
for years among academics, educators and writers. Reading remains one of
their top concerns. In Seattle's public schools, sixth-grade boys
trailed their female classmates by more than 10 percentage points in the
standardized reading test in 2006.
Reading often loses its hold on these children as they near and hit
middle school, a time when reading and their social worlds become more
"A lot of times, when boys get to middle school they are feeling sort of
disenfranchised from the educational" experience, said Pamela LaBorde,
children's librarian at the Seattle Public Library's Ballard branch.
The problem isn't necessarily that boys don't read, it's that they are
often practical readers, LaBorde said, reading magazines and even
"I think we feel like boys just aren't good readers because they aren't
curling up with 'Little Women,' " LaBorde added.
The reasons behind the reading gender gap are complex -- everything from
cultural changes to behavioral differences -- but researchers know the
brains of boys and girls develop at different rates.
Myers offered other reasons, such as boys being typically more
comfortable telling teachers to buzz off.
They also may feel ignored. That's because the publishing industry tends
to focus on girls, Myers said.
"The publishing industry doesn't think there is a market, so they just
don't market them," said Hayden Bass, teen services librarian at Seattle
Public's Library's downtown branch.
To engage male readers, books need to tackle their issues: what it means
to be a man, walk away from a fight, play sports and even go to war,
"I've never had a male editor," the New Jersey-based author said. "When
you see the books that win the awards, you see books that are much more
suitable for girls."
When Myers wrote "Fallen Angels," a teen novel about Vietnam, it was a
big hit with male readers.
"The basketball books I write make beaucoup bucks," added Myers, who has
a new book on the Iraq war, "Sunrise over Fallujah," scheduled for
release this summer.
Experts say there are titles for reluctant male readers -- "The
Outsiders" comes to mind -- just not enough.
"The real requirement is
that there is a male protagonist. Boys will not read books that have a
girl protagonist," said John Martin, a Ballard novelist who writes for
young adults, and started
this year to address the reading gap.
The problem is not lost on local educators. Seattle Public Schools spent
nearly $3 million over the past three years to create 600-book libraries
for classrooms and outreach, and plans to spend more.
In Seattle schools and elsewhere, a broader scope of reading materials
is welcomed. Comic books are embraced, graphic novels are praised and
audio books are seen as helpful.
But like many student challenges, the first steps begin at home.
"Getting kids reading ready by talking to them, by having conversations
with these boys and telling these young readers that they have to join
our society, we don't have to join theirs," Myers said. "You have to
interact with your children."
"To engage male readers, books need to tackle their issues: what it
means to be a man, walk away from a fight"
If books are written about what it means to be a man, they should be
written by men, and not by "sissified men", but by men with real
masculinity, strong men.