Reading is helping thousands of Fort Wayne area students earn free tickets to attend a Fort Wayne TinCaps home game. Forest Park Elementary School second grader and accelerated reader Edith McComas is one of many students who attends once a year reading rallies that feature TinCaps mascot Johnny TinCap. “It’s really cool to get a free ticket somewhere”, said Edith. “I like to read because it helps me learn new words and understand things.”
The TinCaps Reading Program began in January and ends in April. Getting a free ticket doesn’t come without a lot of hard work. “We went into this year with about 300 schools with almost 70,000 students participating,” said Reading Program Director Paige Watson. “With that, each school sets reading goals for their students. Once the students hit their reading goals they earn a free TinCaps ticket.”
Fourth grader Cordney Glaspie has earned a few free tickets over the years. “They give you this chart you have to turn in,” said Cordney. “It will say what book you read, how much time you read and every time you read a book you have to turn it in and once you turn that in you get to another base and once you get to home base, you get a free ticket to the TinCaps game.”
“The rallies that are held at schools with Johnny help pump up the kids to finish the program strong,” said Watson. “It gets them excited to come out to attend games and stay excited about reading. Since Johnny doesn’t speak we have representatives who will answer on his behalf.”
“I absolutely love it,” said second grader teacher Hillary Kolter. “I think we should have more programs like that going on in the community. The TinCaps have definitely set the bar high.”
The TinCaps will have Meet the Team Night on Wednesday, April 4th at 5 p.m. at Parkview Field at 1301 Ewing Street downtown.
The team will officially kick off the season on the road Thursday, April 5th, against the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio.
Parkview Field’s 10th season starts on Saturday, April 7 at 6:05 p.m. when the TinCaps host the Captains. Fans in attendance on Opening Night will receive a free TinCaps Magnet Schedule and be treated to a fireworks show after the game presented by Parkview Health.