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Memphis Grizzlies to host Read to Achieve Celebration presented by International Paper and Burger King on March 19

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Memphis, March 18, 2012 – The Memphis Grizzlies are set to host the 2012 Read to Achieve Celebration presented by International Paper and Burger King on Monday, March 19 from 10-11 a.m. at FedExForum. Media is invited to attend.

Grizzlies’ players Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, Jeremy Pargo and Quincy Pondexter will be on-hand to help reward 5,000 Memphis-area elementary students who have excelled in the annual program. Students taking part in this year’s celebration completed the 2012 Memphis Grizzlies Reading Challenge by reading six books in six weeks. As part of the reading challenge, 70 schools in the Mid-South participated and collectively read over 25,000 books over the six-week period.

The morning will tip-off with a lesson in safety, offered by Germantown firefighters who teach kids through skits as fire clowns. With the help of the players, the fire clowns will use fun and interactive activities to educate the kids on emergency preparedness, including tornado, fire, flood and earthquake safety. As an additional treat, each student will receive a Grizz coloring book and a Be Ready Shelby Grizz Girls calendar.

The NBA’s Read to Achieve program, presented locally by International Paper, is a year-round campaign to help young people develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly to children. Reaching an estimated 50 million children a year, Read to Achieve is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports. In addition to being supported by all 30 NBA teams, Read to Achieve is supported by the NBA's officials, parents and wives of players, organizations and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.