Rockets And HP Tip Off Read To Achieve

HOUSTON (Oct. 22, 2002) - The Houston Rockets and HP today launched the 2002-2003 Read to Achieve program with a tipoff rally at Compaq Center. The third literacy initiative between the Rockets and HP, the Read to Achieve program is designed to promote the value of reading and encourages families and adults to read regularly with young children.

After opening ceremonies, Houston Rockets players and coaches joined 250 elementary students on the Compaq Center floor to read stories with the children at ten individual stations.

Groups of elementary students from Franklin, MacGregor, Alcott, Holden, and Carrillo elementary schools, along with several students from the Houston Hua Xia Chinese School, listened intently to All-Star Reading Team members as they read stories aloud from giant books.

Each reading station was designated with an assortment of giant stuffed animals and colorful blocks rising as high as eight feet in the air. The oversized decorations served as the perfect backdrop for All-Star Team members to meet with the children and talk to them about the importance of reading.

“The Rockets are committed to improving the lives of our youth,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “Encouraging children to read more is one of the best ways to help them achieve academic success and create a solid basis for future growth.”

Cuttino Mobley reads to a group of children at this year's Read to Achieve event.
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images
The entire Houston Rockets team including Steve Francis, Moochie Norris, Cuttino Mobley, and Yao Ming participated in the Read to Achieve tipoff, along with Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

“Reading skills provide the basis for future success to all students, especially those at the elementary-school level,” said Steve Huey, vice president of HP Marketing Communications. “Our partnership with the Rockets gives us an excellent opportunity to help these students build a solid foundation for academic skills and achievement.”

The Read to Achieve program is the NBA’s primary community initiative that promotes the value of reading and online literacy, and encourages families and adults to read regularly with young children. Estimated to reach 50 million children a year, Read to Achieve is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports.