Perkins Joins Students at Read to Achieve Event

BOSTON – When most people enter the Citi Wang Theatre during the holiday season, it’s to see the legendary Rockettes perform. However 22 second graders from Otis Elementary had the Celtics on their mind as they arrived at the theatre Friday afternoon.

Kendrick Perkins RTA

Kendrick Perkins joins a group of children at a recent Read to Achieve Event.

The students, wearing Celtics jerseys and T-shirts, were guided to a festive room that included a Christmas tree, stockings, milk and cookies. In a few moments Kendrick Perkins, the starting center for the 2008 World Champions, would be arriving to read to the group as part of the Celtics’ Read to Achieve program.

One child, Richard Munoz, had been waiting for this moment for quite a while. He had entered the ReadBoston-RTA-Can Share contest and won the opportunity to give his whole class a day at the theatre with Perkins.

Big smiles and greetings welcomed the 6-10 center, who had to duck his head in order to enter the room. After the introductions were made, Perkins settled into a chair beside the Christmas tree as the children sat on blankets in front of him and he began to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot,” read Perkins. “But the Grinch, who lived just North of Who-ville, did NOT!”

The second graders listened intently to Perkins and some even came up to read pages with him. Perkins’ handy helper, Matt Meyersohn, who doubles as the Celtics’ Director Community Relations and Player Development, then asked the kids about the moral of the story. Perkins especially loved an answer one of the young girls said after she raised her hand: “This story teaches us that Christmas is about sharing, not getting presents.”

Milk and cookies were given to the students following the reading and as they sat to eat their snack Grinch Bingo cards were handed out. The excitement was clear and as the time went on every one of the kids had a chance to win Bingo and receive a prize.

As the Read to Achieve event came to a close, the students were preparing to watch the Rockettes’ Christmas show. Additionally, each child was given a Rockettes’ ornament and scarf!

“The kids were great today,” said Perkins. “I was impressed with how well they listened to the story and how they were able to answer questions about it afterwards. They were a good group and understood how important it is to read and continue their education.”