Stephen Strasburg kicks off DC Public Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Program

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To celebrate the beginning of the DC Public Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Program sponsored by the Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg visited Hearst Elementary School on Monday to read to and interact with local students.

The 2016 Summer Reading Program is the largest program in the District that addresses the “summer slide,” or the loss of learning that children and teens experience when they do not read during summer vacation. Comprised of several age-specific initiatives, the program encourages summer reading by offering local youth various incentives, including a Nationals/DC Public Library soft baseball (kids up to the age of five), a Nationals Activity Book (ages six through 12) and tickets to select Nationals games for students (ages six through 18) who reach their summer reading goal.

“The DC Public Library Summer Reading Program is a wonderful merger of opportunities,” said Gregory McCarthy, Vice President of Community Engagement for the Nationals. “DCPL has wonderful community-based programs at its 26 branches throughout the District and the Nationals can provide a great platform to motivate parents and their children to sign up for summer reading.”

The Nationals’ three-year commitment to the DC Public Library’s Summer Reading Program includes annual contributions of tickets, merchandise, program collateral and other support.

Since the Nationals became involved in the program, the number of participants has increased more than 100 percent, doubling since summer 2013, when 13,000 participants were registered. Last summer, 27,000 youth participated.

More information can be found at nationals.com/summerreading. To sign up for the program, visit dclibrary.org/summerreading.

“Baseball is a powerful tool to promote learning and healthy lifestyles among children,” said McCarthy. “The program allows our team to reach thousands and thousands of young people.”

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