Michigan Education Association


10,000 Books in Just Two Months!

‘MichiganReads.com’ rewards students for reading

EAST LANSING, Mich., March 2, 2010 — The innovative Michigan Reads Program, a joint effort between the Michigan Education Association and the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, has achieved a major milestone in its first two months, registering the 10,000th book read by Michigan students. The program, launched in late December 2009, was designed to encourage reading by students in Michigan elementary, secondary and high schools.

“Peter and the Shadow Thieves” by Ridley Pearson is the 10,000th book reported as read through the Michigan Reads Web site – it was read by Cooper Vettorello, a fifth-grader at Burns Park Elementary school in Ann Arbor.  For his efforts, Cooper will be honored at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Sunday, March 7, during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Houston Rockets.  Cooper will receive premium seats to the game for himself and his parents, will get to be an honorary ball boy for the game and will have his picture taken with a member of the Detroit Pistons team.  In addition, the Detroit Pistons will offer a special discount on tickets for Cooper’s classmates and their families to attend the game and cheer him on.

“While we realize that reading great books is its own reward, we also know that sometimes students need a little incentive to read amid the daily options and distractions of sports, games and the Internet,” said MEA President Iris K. Salters. “Especially since March is ‘Reading Month,’ it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate this milestone and honor Cooper and all our students for making a commitment to reading.”

The Detroit Pistons have long been supporters of student reading programs and, in prior years, have donated time and resources to open 21 Live, Learn, and Play Centers in schools across the state. Pistons players also have been known to donate their time to read to students during “Reading Time Outs” and other school-driven events.

“Our entire organization is committed to encouraging young people to read more,” said Alan Ostfield, president and CEO, Palace Sports and Entertainment. “Our players and staff all have contributed in one way or another to promoting reading enrichment and encouragement programs throughout the state for many years. Partnering with MEA on Michigan Reads was a natural choice for us.”

“The Pistons’ long-term commitment to encourage reading made them the perfect partner to ‘tip-off’ this program,” said Salters. “As the seasons change, we hope to develop reading encouragement programs with Detroit’s other professional sports teams.”

The Pistons have been strong supporters of the program, working with MEA to provide free bookmarks to students throughout the state, passing out “Michigan Reads” posters before select home games, running public service announcements on their scoreboard and providing links on their Web site to www.michiganreads.com.

Michigan Reads was designed for Michigan students to help encourage them not only to read more, but to inspire them to reach new heights in their education. Through the MEA’s association with the Detroit Pistons, the program rewards “book-seeking” students with great tickets to Detroit Pistons home games. For every five books a student reads, he or she receives a free Detroit Pistons game ticket valued at $40 when at least one ticket of the same value is purchased for only $20.

Visit www.michiganreads.com for more information or to learn how to participate through the end of March.


Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Communications, 517-337-5508


Updated: March 2, 2010 1:47 PM