Boston Celtics Film Read to Achieve PSA with Students from Perkins School for the Blind
BOSTON (October 21, 2004) - Celtics All-Star captain Paul Pierce, rookie guard Delonte West, Head Coach Doc Rivers and Managing Partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck spent time reading stories and participating in arts and crafts projects with students from the Perkins School for the Blind this afternoon. The Reading Timeout was filmed for use in a public service announcement focusing on Braille literacy that will air beginning in November.
Members of the Boston Celtics organization and the students used special books that feature traditional printed pages and Braille pages to read to each other during the special Read to Achieve Week event. The event is part of a new partnership between the NBA Read to Achieve program and Boston-based National Braille Press to include blind schools in the popular NBA student literacy program.
"This was a wonderful opportunity to share the joy of reading with students at Perkins School," Pierce said. "I enjoyed not only reading to the children, but watching them read to us as well. It is wonderful that these students are still able to enjoy the love of reading, and this partnership is a great way to allow Read to Achieve to reach even more children."
"I am grateful that Perkins School enabled us to have this unique experience," Coach Rivers said. "This was a great experience and I enjoyed being able to spend time with these children and learn from them. I hope we can continue to work with blind schools through the Read to Achieve program and reach more students who enjoy reading."
"We'd like to thank the Boston Celtics for coming to Perkins to encourage our students to read to achieve, and for recognizing the importance of literacy for all children -- with or without sight," said Steven M. Rothstein, President of Perkins School for the Blind. "We're delighted to partner with the Celtics, the NBA and National Braille Press in getting this message out to children who are blind and their families."
The partnership between Read to Achieve and National Braille Press is designed to help draw attention to the importance of literacy for all children, particularly for thousands of blind and visually impaired children nationwide who should be learning to read. The move to include blind students in the NBA's Read to Achieve program was initiated last spring by Grousbeck and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund, who have both been touched by blindness in their lives.
Through this partnership, National Braille Press has been able to take full-color illustrated children's books that have been donated by various national publishers, slice them apart and insert clear plastic Braille pages. These books are uniquely designed so that families can read together, reinforcing the importance of early literacy starting in the home from the earliest years of a child's life. Popular books that are available in Braille include "Curious George," "Arthur's New Puppy," "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and the popular Harry Potter series.
About National Braille Press
National Braille Press is a nonprofit publishing house founded in 1927 to ensure that blind people have the same access to information as sighted people in a medium that they can read - Braille. The Press produces books and periodicals for blind children and adults and actively promotes Braille literacy. For more information on the National Braille Press, visit www.nbp.org.
About Perkins School for the Blind Perkins School for the Blind is committed to helping people who are blind, visually impaired, deafblind, or with multiple disabilities reach their greatest independence. The nation's first school for the blind, Perkins serves over 40,000 people every year here and in more than 50 developing countries around the world. Celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, Perkins is the alma mater of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. For more information on the Perkins School for the Blind, visit www.Perkins.org.
About the Read to Achieve Program The NBA/WNBA Read to Achieve program focuses on promoting the value of reading and online literacy and works to encourage families and adults to read regularly to young children, Through the teamwork of the "NBA Family", we have read to thousands of children, distributed over 900,000 books and two million literacy magazines and developed 93 reading and Learning Centers and 78 reading Corners across the country. Locally, the Boston Read to Achieve features monthly read-aloud events at participating schools. The Celtics have also opened two reading and Learning Centers in Massachusetts. The program is sponsored locally by Shaw's Supermarket and Aquafina.