Reading Time-Outs | All Star Reading Team | Reading TimeOut TipOff | Read Across America | Call A Pacer | Bounce Back to School | Proliance Energy Backpack Attack | Free Book Give Away | Pacers Academy Middle School & High School | Pacers Learning Center | Abrams Academic Achievement Award | Celebration of Diversity | 100 Black Men Scholastic Basketball Awards Ceremony | Partnership for Young Readers/ Making the Grade & Courtside Fever | IPS Values for Life Celebration | Scholarship & Grants | Larry Bird Character Award | Be Educated

Through Education, we are committed to…

  • Building a lifelong love of reading in youth
  • Providing all children with access to books & technology
  • Encouraging partnerships with community groups to continue to bring public awareness to the value of education

Reading Time-Outs

The Indiana Pacers present reading timeouts (twice a month) throughout the season. Special guest readers include members of the Indiana Pacers, Boomer, the Indiana Pacemates and members of the Pacers All-Star reading "team".

Guest readers read stories to the students from large oversized books. All students participating in the reading timeouts receive a Pacers Playbook, a READ Poster and have the opportunity to win Pacers prizes including autographed items. Each visit is approximately one hour in length with class sizes averaging 250 students in 1st-3rd grade.

For information on the Indiana Fever Reading TimeOut program, click here.

All-Star Reading Team

The Indiana Pacers have developed an All-Star Reading Team which is presented by Knozone and features player, coaches, local dignitaries and celebrities.

Members of the All-Star Reading Team volunteer their time and knowledge to children throughout the city in various monthly events and activities that promote and bring public awareness to the value of reading. This includes press conferences, radio voice-overs, local/national print and television PSA's, in-arena videos, etc.

Click here for a list of All-Star Reading Team Members and their affiliations.

Reading Timeout Tip-Off

The Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever host a Reading TimeOut TipOff, presented by Knozone, prior to each team's season.

This year's Pacers Reading TimeOut TipOff featured members of the All-Star Reading Team, the Indiana Pacemates and Boomer. Celebrity guests shared stories with students from Indiana Life Sciences Academy West, IPS #27, IPS #31 and IPS #46. Students participated in rotating reading stations in the Zoo's Dolphin Gallery, Education Suites and Hulman Riverhouse. In addition, students also had the opportunity to interact with select zoo animals and talk to the animal handlers about each animal, as well as attend the Zoo's Dolphin Show!

Each child in attendance received a Pacers Goodie Bag, an Indiana Pacers t-shirt, Boomer's Halloween Candy and tickets to an upcoming Pacers game!

For information on the Indiana Fever Reading TimeOut TipOff, visit

Read Across America

In partnership with Read Across America, the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association, the Indiana Pacers will present Read Across America, the week of March 1, 2010.

Read Across America focuses on motivating children to read and help them master basic skills. The reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids and books.

As part of this partnership, a Read Across America Poster and PSA featuring Pacers player Mike Dunleavy will be produced and distributed to Pacers fans and the Indianapolis community. In addition, the Pacers will participate in Read Across America Week, beginning March 2.

Free Book Giveaway

The Indiana Pacers, in conjunction with Bryant Heating & Cooling host a Free Book Giveaway once a month during the Pacers regular season.

Books are available beginning when doors open through the end of the first quarter (or while supplies last). Available books range from preschool to high school age. Fans can stop by the Free Book Giveaway table to receive their free books, with a limit of two books per person.

Bounce Back To School

The Indiana Fever Bounce Back to School Attendance Program, presented by Proliance Energy was created to both recognize and maintain good attendance practices in our young fans throughout the state of Indiana.

Simply by attending classes on the first day of the school's 2009-2010 academic year, students qualify to participate in the program and will receive (1) a complimentary ticket to an upcoming Fever game at Conseco Fieldhouse, (2) special in-game recognition of schools with participating students and (3) additional lower level tickets at a discounted rate for parents, friends and family.

For more information on the Bounce Back to School program, visit Fever Basketball.

Call A Pacer

The Indiana Pacers team up with the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library and Stanley Security Solutions to present Call-A-Pacer.

This annual program allows callers to listen to featured Pacers' players, coaches and Pacemates read a segment of a children's story. Fans of all ages can call (317) 275-4444, to hear members of the Pacers read pre-selected children's stories. Phone lines are open 24 hours, and may be accessed by up to four listeners at a time. Fans can also log on to to hear these same stories, as well as stories read by members of the All-Star Reading Team.

During the 2008-09 season, over 110,000 calls were received, with Jeff Foster's "Miss Nelson is Missing!" topping the chart at over 11,000 calls!

Call-A-Pacer was created to encourage school-age children to read and visit their neighborhood library.

The 2009-10 Call-A-Pacer season tips off March 1, 2010!

Proliance Energy Backpack Attack

The Indiana Fever & Proliance Energy helps support the Backpack Attack. Since 1999, Backpack Attack has collected more than 2.1 million school supplies for children in the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) as well as other schools in Marion, Boone, Hancock and Hendricks counties.

The Indiana Fever and Proliance Energy teamed up to once again host this event at the Fever game on July 17. Fans donated school supply items, and in return received a FREE Pepsi product. In addition, employees of each organization hosted internal collections to help support the effort.

For more information on the Proliance Energy Backpack Attack, visit Proliance Backpack Attack.

Pacers AcademyMiddle School and High School

The Pacers Academy originally opened in August, 2001 as a middle-school and high-school. In 2006-07, students were separated, creating a Pacers Academy Middle School (part of the Indianapolis Public School System) at Union Station and a Pacers Academy High School (part of the Pike Township School System) located at Lafayette Square Mall. And in 2007 Pacers Academy High School East (part of the Indianapolis Public School System) opened its doors at Washington Square Mall.

Opening in 2001, the mission of PacersAcademy is to champion the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life.

PacersAcademy is a secondary alternative education concept for grades 7-8 and 11-12 designed to teach educational and life skills in a focused environment. This is achieved by offering smaller classes, school hours that better meet the needs of teens, and a service-learning component for middle school students and a jobs component for high school students.

This smaller school targets attendance, academic achievement and improved behavior. Emphasis is placed on building self-esteem to help students prepare for the challenges they will meet in the future. The school policies foster positive expectations and a "PacersAcademy" culture that teaches students to respect each other, the teachers and themselves.

The Indiana Pacers are an integral part of the PacersAcademyMiddle School and High School providing student participation in community activities, player visits and more.

The PacersAcademy originally opened in August, 2001 as a middle-school and high-school.

The Pacers Academy originally opened in August, 2001 as a middle-school and high-school. In 2006-07, students were separated, creating a Pacers Academy Middle School (part of the Indianapolis Public School System) at Union Station and a Pacers Academy High School (part of the Pike Township School System) located at Lafayette Square Mall. And in 2007 Pacers Academy High School East (part of the Indianapolis Public School System) opened its doors at Washington Square Mall.

Pacers Academy Middle School

Pacers Academy High School West

Pacers Academy High School East

Pacers Learning Centers

As part of Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Education Initiative, the Pacers sponsor seven Learning Centers in the Indianapolis area.

The Pacers Learning Centers provides books and technological resources to select Indianapolis Public Schools to implement the National Basketball Association's national reading initiative, Read to Achieve, at the local level.

The Pacers Learning Centers are utilized for reading groups, tutoring, homework clubs, and various character-building activities. In addition computer workstations are available to the teachers and students for research assignments.

The first Pacers Learning Center was opened in May 2003 at Francis Scott Key Elementary (IPS #103). Additional learning centers have been opened at Key Learning Community North, IPS #44, Christamore House, IPS #31, IPS #82 and IPS #98.

IPS #103
IPS #44

IPS #31
IPS #82
Key Learning Community North

Christamore House

Abrams Academic Achievement Award

As part of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Education Initiative, the Indiana Pacers, in partnership with Pacers team physician Dr. John Abrams sponsor the Abrams Academic Achievement Award.

The Abrams Academic Achievement Award was established to recognize students at the PacersAcademy for their hard work and efforts in academic pursuits. In 2006-07 the award expanded to include students at each PacersLearningCenter.

Each month a student is recognized during an on-court ceremony at an Indiana Pacers game, receiving two Krieg-DeVault Club Level tickets to the game, serves as the honorary ball kid at that night's game, along with a Notebook Computer, a Certificate of Achievement and a Pacers goodie bag. In addition, recipients have their name engraved on a plaque, which is displayed at their school.

To see a list of this year’s winner’s click here.

Celebartion of Diversity

As part of Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Education Initiative and in celebration of Diversity, Indiana Pacers participate and sponsor programs, events and activities including the 100 Black Men Scholastic Basketball Program Awards Ceremony, Black History Month, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the King/Kennedy Memorial/Landmark for Peace Monument.

The Landmark for Peace Memorial is a memorial sculpture at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park near 17th & Broadway, downtown, that honors the contributions of the slain leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. The sculpture, which features King and Kennedy reaching out to each other, was designed by Greg Perry. The Pacers and the Pacers Foundation directed the community fund-raising efforts for the project, with Diane Simon donating the initial dollars and the Pacers organization led the way to generate the rest.

At the site of the memorial, in April 4, 1968, Robert Kennedy gave an impromptu speech to an inner city crowd about reconciliation between the races after he learned of the assassination of King. Kennedy was told that riots had broken out in other cities and he was advised not to make the speech. He refused to cancel his plans. Originally he intended to make a speech on his presidential aspirations, instead he spoke of King. No riots took place in Indianapolis, a fact many attribute to the effect of his speech.

100 Black Men Scholastic Basketball Awards Ceremony

As part of the Pacers Sports &Entertainment's Education Initiative, the Pacers host the 100 Black Men Scholastic Basketball Program Awards Ceremony.

The 100 Black Men Scholastic Basketball Program was designed to raise the level of scholastic achievement in the classroom, at home and on and off the basketball court. Each week, IndianapolisPublic School students are evaluated based on effort, conduct and attendance.

By achieving good scores in these areas, the students earn points which give them a chance to play basketball with the student's basketball team and compete with other schools. The Pacers partner with the Indianapolis chapter of 100 Black Men to sponsor this program.

Upon conclusion of the program, the Pacers host an awards ceremony for the top 12 students at participating schools.

In 2009, the Pacers hosted the Awards Ceremony in the Clarian Health Entry Pavilion of Conseco Fieldhouse for students representing IPS #14, IPS #34, IPS #51, IPS #54, IPS #55, IPS #69, IPS #81, IPS #93, IPS #102, Deer Run Elementary & Eastbrook Elementary.

Indiana Pacers player Maceo Baston and Assistant Coach Lester Conner, along with Indiana Pacers mascot Boomer and Indiana Fever mascot Freddy Fever were on hand to congratulate the students and distribute medals and certificates to the top "point-earners" from these schools.

In addition, Coach Conner delivered a motivational speech to over 300 students who were recognized for their hard work and dedication, both on and off the court.

Partnership for Young Readers/Making the Grade & Courtside Fever

As part of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Education Initiative, the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, in partnership with The Indianapolis Star's Newspaper in Education Program, have teamed up to present Making the Grade and Courtside Fever.

Both education programs and stress good writing skills and character education and development. Each week the Making the Grade feature includes articles and information on Pacers or Fever players and coaches. In addition, students are invited to respond to character-building questions posed by Boomer and Freddy Fever.

Of those responses, five essays are selected every week to receive four tickets to an Indiana Pacers or Indiana Fever game. In addition, one top essay is chosen to be published in the following week's Indianapolis Star.

For more information on Partnership for Young Readers, email

Congratulations to this year’s All-Star essay winners:

Abigail Cornforth Chapel Glen Elementary
Brittany Rhude Tri-West High School
Cole Burton Whiteland Elementary
Dezha Nelson Chapel Glen Elementary
Dru Garland Pittsboro Elementary
Jack Kleck St. Louis de Montfort
Jarrett Roseboom North Salem Elementary School
Jordan Ross Chapel Glen Elementary
MyKenzie Stephens Our Lady of Lourdes
Olivia Heifner Chapel Glen Elementary
Seth Hernly Chapel Glen Elementary

IPS Values for Life Celebration

In partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools, the Pacers and Fever host the IPS Values for Life Celebration at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The purpose of this celebration is to recognize & encourage the over 8,000 students who demonstrate Indianapolis Public Schools Four Core Values of Excellence, Scholarship, Respect and Courage.

The 2009 celebration included appearances from Dr. Eugene White, Superintendent of Public Schools, Pacers President Jim Morris, Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams, Pacers Players Travis Diener, Mike Dunleavy, Josh McRoberts and Roy Hibbert, along with Indiana Fever Player Tully Bevilaqua.

Students were welcomed to Conseco Fieldhouse by 100 Best Buy volunteers cheering their success and music from the Broad Ripple High School band. In addition, students were also treated to a variety of entertainment from Boomer's Dunk Show, Traci's Urban Jamm Dance Studio and the Chicago Boyz! All students in attendance received an IPS Values for Life T-shirt and tickets to an Indiana Fever game.


As part of Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Education Initiative, the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and the Pacers Foundation provides Scholarships, Grants, Community Partnerships and tickets to assist students and non-profit organizations in achieve their educational goals. Included in these programs are the Larry Bird Character Award and the Be Educated Grant of the Pacers Foundation

For more information on the Pacers Foundation, visit Pacers Foundation

Larry Bird Character Award

The Indiana Pacers, in partnership with The Indianapolis Star, the National Federation of State High School Associations, the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Dick’s Sporting Goods, present the Larry Bird Character Award.

This award is one of the community outreach programs of the Indiana Pacers. Winners are determined by criteria that are representative of the qualities of NBA legend and current Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. The criteria include academic excellence, character, sportsmanship and community service. Nominees must be a senior in high school and a member of their boys or girls high school varsity basketball teams.

Five male and five female finalists are selected and receive four tickets each to a Pacers home game and are honored in an on-court presentation. The top male and female are also awarded a special trophy and a $1,000 scholarship to an accredited college of their choice from Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Congratulations to this year’s winners…

1. Landon Harner Springs Valley High School French Lick
2. Brayden Merrell Northwestern High School Kokomo
3. Daniel Wodicka West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High West Lafayette
4. David Wampler West Vigo High School W. Terre Haute
5. Nathan Hendershot Pendleton High School Pendleton



1. Renee Frantz Fremont High School Fremont
2. Casey Hueni Bremen High School Bremen
3. Shanlynn Bias Griffith High School Griffith
4. Victoria Brocksmith Rivet High School Vincennes
5. Whitney Malin Wood Memorial High School Mackey

Be Educated

Based on a statewide community-needs assessment study, the Be Educated grant is one of five funds that target the most pressing issues facing our kids today.

Indiana has the highest percentage of high school dropouts in the nation based on Kids Count 2006, The Annie E. Casey Foundation. According to Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education, "the one million students who drop out of high school each year cost our nation more than $260 billion dollars. That's in lost wages, lost taxes, and lost productivity over their lifetimes...¨

The Pacers Foundation supports the efforts of Indiana groups that help struggling students to stay in school; and out-of-school youth to re-engage in the learning.

As such, mentoring and/or tutoring programs, alternative schools and after-school programs with an emphasis on learning should consider applying. This does not mean, however, that we will not fund other types of organizations with a focus on youth education. It simply means that our priorities are to keep struggling students in school and to reengage out-of-school youth in the learning process.

For more information on the Be Educated Grant, visit Pacers Foundation