GENEVA—Chicagoland schools are encouraged to take part in Ozzie’s Reading Club, the Kane County Cougars’ reading incentive program.
Named after Cougars mascot Ozzie T. Cougar, Ozzie’s Reading Club included nearly 145,000 students from 427 schools who improved their reading skills through the Cougars’ program last season. The 2012 season will be the 18th year for Ozzie’s Reading Club, and interested teachers can learn more by contacting Amy Mason, Ozzie’s Reading Club coordinator, at (630) 232-8811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarded as one of the most successful and rewarding reading incentive programs in the Chicagoland area, Ozzie’s Reading Club allows teachers and reading specialists to set goals for students at different grade levels. Students receive rewards for reading a certain number of books or pages, with prizes awarded as they read their way to first base, second base, third base and finally to home plate. Students hitting a home run receive a ticket to an April or May Cougars game designated by their school, along with a food voucher and free t-shirt. Graduates are also recognized in a pre-game parade on the field and are admitted free to any Sunday-Thursday Cougars games during the months of June through September.
One of the unique features of Ozzie’s Reading Club is its availability to readers of varying reading levels, including students up through eighth grade.
“To have a program which appeals to 14- year-olds as much as 6-year-olds is a great thing,” said Mason. “Home run hitters of all ages are so excited when they see Ozzie as they enter the stadium. It’s wonderful to see how proud they are of their reading accomplishments.”
The Ozzie’s Reading Club program has received national recognition and praise from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues and at the annual Baseball & Sports Marketing convention.
“We are very proud of the relationships we have established with local schools over the past 17 years of Ozzie’s Reading Club,” said Mason. “Teachers and administrators have seen our commitment to building reading skills and we appreciate the confidence schools have shown in our program.”