Baltimore Blast backs books Challenge: Soccer team supports fund-raiser for reading program that provides education for the whole family.


The Baltimore Blast soccer team is kicking in support to encourage reading.

At Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Kixx, the Blast will accept donated books for young readers and distribute fliers promoting its "Booklist Challenge."

Students taking the "Challenge" will read for three hours, alone or with their parents. In exchange, they will receive free tickets to the Blast's Dec. 18 game, also against the Kixx, and be recognized at halftime.

The fliers will be distributed and books collected by Maryland Sings, a teen group that has toured Europe and performed at the White House. The group will sing the national anthem at Saturday's Blast game.

Donated books should be appropriate for young readers. They will be given to the Baltimore County-based Even Start Family Literacy Program.

"Booklist Challenge" fliers also will be distributed at Baltimore County's 102 elementary schools in coming weeks as part of Reading Makes Cents, an annual fund-raising campaign for Even Start.

Even Start has 10 facilities in Baltimore County where children are taught to read and their parents are offered training in areas ranging from child-rearing and computer skills to career guidance, said Tracey Myers-Preston, development coordinator for Reading Makes Cents.

"It's a little different than most literacy programs in that they work with the entire family, with the whole family coming in for their educational needs," Myers-Preston said.

Reading Makes Cents raised $50,000 last year, largely through donations collected by students who garner pledges in exchange for reading.

"New or gently used" books for beginning and young readers also may be dropped off this week in the office at Reisterstown United Methodist Church in the 200 block of Main St. in Reisterstown. Hours are 8 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. today, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow through Friday.

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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