Teachers looking for a way to motivate basketball-loving students to read need look no further than the latest program from the International Reading Association (IRA) and the American Basketball Association (ABA).
IRA and ABA have teamed up to create Fast Break for Reading, a national campaign to promote more reading by students. ABA, an organization with 90 professional basketball teams, offers incentives to young people by offering incentives to students who commit to do a minimum of 10 minutes of reading every night during the campaign. The effort began on Monday, November 12, and runs through the end of the ABA season on March 10, 2013. The declared goal is to generate a million minutes of reading.
“IRA is very pleased to be partnering with the ABA,” explained Stephen Sye, the Association’s Senior Marketing Manager. “Like us, the ABA is concerned about literacy in the US and is joining with us to make a significant difference in the reading habits of young people.” Joe Newman, the league’s CEO, agrees. “We can think of nothing more important for young people than to acquire good reading skills,” he said, “as this can be a life changer.”
Incentives for Students
Teachers interested in having their students participate in the program will find an official program reading log, a certificate of participation, and other materials on the Fast Break for Reading webpage on the IRA website. Students maintain and turn in their logs each month to their teachers who in turn tally the total and enter them on the campaign website; the website takes care of tracking totals.
Students who participate in Fast Break for Reading receive a certificate of participation, a ticket to an ABA game of choice, and eligibility for a grand prize at the conclusion of the program. The student who reads the most total minutes and is taught by the teacher whose students accumulate the most total minutes for the program will receive a grand prize of tickets to an ABA finals game, including air fare and a one-night hotel stay. The top reader at each school will also receive an outstanding achievement award from the ABA and IRA.
Teacher Liaison Opportunities
The ABA currently fields teams in 90 unique markets, including the San Antonio FUEL who play in the city where the IRA Annual Convention will be held on April 19-22, 2013. The league is looking for teacher volunteers to facilitate relationships between individual teams and local school districts and schools.
Among other options, these teacher liaisons can coordinate ABA visits to local schools for reading and basketball clinics, as well as student outings to ABA games. Interested teachers should determine the ABA team nearest their school by accessing the ABA website at www.abalive.com and then submitting their liaison application at www.reading.org/fastbreak. Liaisons will receive team jerseys, access to any ABA designated team game, and a free Common Core implementation guide.
As the program proceeds, teachers can also catch the latest Fast Break developments and updates via social media by “liking” the Fast Break for Reading page on Facebook. They can post comments and upload pictures of their classes reading or attending a campaign-related ABA game.
Buckets & Books Program
The final component of Fast Break involves the ABA’s Buckets & Books program. Fans who drop off books at ABA games will receive 50% off the cost of general admission and the books collected will be donated to local school programs.
For more information on any of these opportunities, teachers are encouraged to visit the Fast Break for Reading webpage at www.reading.org/fastbreak.