Boston Celtics’ Teammates Paul Pierce and Jiri Welsch Read with Students at Samuel W. Mason Elementary School

Celtics Bring Read to Achieve Program to Roxbury to Stress Importance of Reading

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BOSTON (November 16, 2004) – Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce and teammate Jiri Welsch visited the Samuel W. Mason Elementary School in Roxbury today as part of the Celtics Read to Achieve program. Pierce and Welsch were joined by members of the Celtics’ All Star Reading team, including Celtics legend JoJo White, athletic trainer Ed Lacerte, Shaw’s Supermarket Communications Manager Rick Tremblay, WCVB-TV Channel 5 sports anchors Bob Halloran and Mike Dowling, news anchor Jim Boyd and reporter Gail Huff.

“It’s very important that children learn to love reading at a young age,” Pierce said. “Not only is it a great form of enjoyment and entertainment, but is also one of the most crucial skills children will be using for the rest of their lives.”

Pierce and Welsch discussed their favorite books and the importance of reading in their lives, and read with more than 90 students from first, second and third grades during a special Read to Achieve program.

“Reading is a tool that students can utilize to get the most out of their education,” Lacerte explained. “Children need to realize that reading is one of the most important things they can do for themselves, and that it will help shape their future.”

“The Mason School students are thrilled that the Boston Celtics and ReadBoston have selected our school and are committed to supporting literacy programs in Boston,” said Janet Palmer-Owens, Principal of Samuel W. Mason Elementary School.

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.

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