Upham's Corner Online

Green Monster Kicks off Summer Reading Program

Posted: June 15, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

Wally, the Green Monster, Gets Involved
The Boston Red Sox have ties to two "green monsters."  The better known is the 37-foot 6-inch wall in left field at Fenway Park. For kids, though, Wally the Green Monster is the "real" green monster, the very lovable (and official) mascot of the Boston Red Sox.Read Your Way to Fenway
So who else but Wally would show up for the Read Your Way to Fenway kick-off event for the Boston Public Library's Summer Reading Program held at the Grove Hall? 

Well, who else but the dozens of kids who wanted to meet Wally, get their picture taken and find out how they can win Red Sox tickets.  Talking his own particular sign language but a very articulate one at that, Wally's friends helped translate his wise words for everyone to hear, especially all the kids hovering about. 

There's something magical when his friends make the announcement:  "Wait!  Quiet everybody. Wally's trying to tell us something."  That's when everyone gets listens intently, almost as if we could hear Wally speak.  "Hey, kids, Wally wants you to know that reading is not only fun but will get you a trip to Fenway!"

"What did you say?"  Wally was talking again - with his hands, his whole body, counting.  He was telling us:  "Just three books."  "That's right, Wally.  You only have to read three books and write an essay on your favorite." 
Summer Reading  Program Brochure Read Your Way to Fenway program details
The June 15 event at Grove Hall Branch was a great success.  It started quietly with author David A Kelly, (Ballpark Mysteries) gathering a group of kids into his reading corner and sharing passages from his book, "The Fenway Foul-up." 
After the dignitaries arrived, the program moved to the other side of the Children's Library and half a dozen speakers greeted the kids, all of them using language and mannerisms comfortable for everyone (kids and adults). 
Amy Ryan, Pres. Boston Public Library asked:  "How many of you have library cards?  Those of you who still need a card, be sure to stop by your branch library very soon.  Remember: read three books, write an essay and enter the contest to go see the Red Sox.  As others before me have said, this event would not be possible without the help the Red Sox Foundation and the Bank of America.  So thank you."
David McKay, the new Exececutive Director of the BPL Foundation, said:  "We need a thank you to the Bank of America today for making it possible for you to go to Fenway.  Can I hear one loud cheer for Bank of America?"  This is the only time, he said, that you are allowed to be really noisy in a library.  And that was enough to bring on the bleacher cheers. 
"How many of you have started reading already?" he asked.  "All the rest of you who don't have your hands up, you need to start reading because that's how you're going to get to Fenway.  I want to thank the Red Sox Foundation and Bank of America for making this contest possible.  And I want to thank you all for reading this summer. "
Maija Meadows, Children's Librarian, came forward looking like a "bat girl" fresh from the afternoon's game.  She knew the kids well.  "Hello, everyone.  We have a lot of fun activities planned for you over the summer.  The summer reading program lasts through August but Reading Your Way to Fenway has a deadline of July 22, so start your reading now."
Additional speakers included Kevin McDonnell from the Bank of America, Meg Vaillancourt, Red Sox Foundation Executive Director and Justin Prettyman, Red Sox Foundation.  The event concluded with healthy treats for everyone - apple slices, water and chocolate chip cookies.

Read Your Way to Fenway
Amy Ryan (far left) and Area B2 Police Officers
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David A. Kelly, author

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David McKay
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Kevin McDonnell
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Maija Meadows
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Meg Vaillancourt
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Justin Prettyman
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Christine Schonhart

According to Christine Schonhart, Director, Branch Libraries,

Read Your Way to Fenway wraps up on July 22.  The game is on August 28.  There are approximately 750 tickets and each winner gets two tickets for a child and a Guardian." 
At the game, each winner will get a hotdog, a drink, a T-shirt and a hat.  Furthermore, seven winners out of all the essayists will be chosen to go out onto the field for a special pre-game ceremony.
Read Your Way is for ages 5-17 and has long been a part of the BPL summer reading program, started in 1996.  An essay is always required.  Read three books (at least), write an essay about one of the books and submit it. 
Our children's librarians are in charge of picking all the winners for their branches.  They know their kids very well and this is a check on the writing style used in the essays.  A lot of the kids come to the library every day.  We have even the littlest kids submitting essays and the librarians know that they will be writing appropriate to their age and judge accordingly.

Happy Reading!!

Read Your Way to FenwayEnter to win a chance for two tickets to the Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, August 28 against the Oakland A's. All you have to do is read three books, write an essay about your favorite, and return your completed entry form to your branch library no later than Friday, July 22, at 5:00 p.m.

Contest begins: Wednesday, June 1

Essays due: Friday, July 22, 5:00 p.m.
Game day: Sunday, August 28, 1:35 p.m.

Thank you to our Read Your Way to Fenway sponsors for their generosity and support.
Read Your Way to Fenway Read Your Way to Fenway

Read Your Way to Fenway


A great big thank you to the Grove Hall Branch staff who "made the library look so nice for the event.
Allen Knight, Acting Branch Manager
Paul Edwards, Generalist Librarian
Maija Meadows, Children's Librarian
Erica Yearwood, Library Assistant
James Lewis, Library Assistant
Juanita Sykes, Library Assistant
Devan Campbell, Custodian

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Read Your Way to Fenway Read Your Way to Fenway

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