Read to Achieve Program Tips off at Gardner Pilot Academy

Allston, Mass. – Fourth- and fifth-graders from Gardner Pilot Academy received an extra treat on Halloween when Lucky and members of the Celtics Dancers paid them a visit. The Celtics group was on hand to help launch the 2011-12 Read To Achieve program, presented by Kia Motors.

As the students filed into the auditorium, you could see their faces light up when they noticed Lucky was in the room. It was only natural, then, that he kicked off the assembly.

“Good morning everyone,” said the Celtics’ favorite leprechaun. “Are you happy that it’s Halloween?”

After a cohesive “Yes,” Lucky explained the purpose of the day.

“Starting November 1st ReadBoston and the Celtics will be launching a reading program,” said Lucky. “Three-thousand elementary students across Boston will have an opportunity to win a prize from the Celtics if they read for 20 minutes a day, five times a week.

“Reading is very important and I know this program will help you to love reading like I do. I had a similar program when I was in school and I’ve continued reading every day since then. I don’t think I would be where I’m at today without an education and reading has a lot to do with that. Reading can help you become a mascot, dancer or even a professional athlete.”

The students listened intently as Lucky explained the importance of the Read To Achieve program. Following his speech, Celtics Dancers Kayla, Jenn, Courtney and Jessica read the book Boris and Bella, which centered around next door neighbors who did not get along because one was a messy monster and the other was a cleanly monster. At the end of the story, the two find common ground after realizing no one attended either of their Halloween parties.

Just like Boris and Bella wanted to have a party, the Celtics Dancers wanted the Gardner students to have one, too. Dancing along to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the dancers taught the youth a routine. The students’ excitement showed in their face as they eventually perfected the moves. Following the dance lesson, selected students and the dancers performed for the rest of the group on stage.

One person who definitely struggled with the dance routine was Lucky.

“My dance moves were a little rusty,” he said. “There’s a reason I flip and dunk for a living!”

As the assembly drew to a close, it was evident the students were eager to be a part of the Read To Achieve program. Celtics Dancer Kayla summarized the importance of the program well.

“Read To Achieve is a great program,” she said. “It’s especially important in the Internet generation to encourage kids to stick to reading. Books take you throughout life and help you study your craft. Whatever students want to do in life, whether it be a dancer or architect, you always need to be in the books.”