The Phillie Phanatic visits kids at J. Harvey Rodgers School for bringing reading to home plate

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024
The Phillie Phanatic brings reading to home plate for kids
These Phillies fans became even more of fanatics today when they received a special visitor at their school!

GLASSBORO, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Phillie Phanatic took a trip to J. Harvey Rodgers School in South Jersey to celebrate their reading programs!

The school has been one of the participants in the Phillies' "Phanatic About Reading Program."

This program motivates students to build their reading skills with books surrounding Philadelphia Phillies themes.

"We ask that the students enrolled read 15 minutes a night... It's a free program...really try to visit 20 schools to recognize top readers in the program, which is why we're here today," said Mary Ann Moyer, Director of Community Initiatives with the Philadelphia Phillies.

After the program was implemented at J. Harvey Rodgers School, they sought to bring everything to home plate.

They used baseball terms to encourage reading in their students, with the process compared to players running the bases.

"First base: identify our letters. Second base...We learn our sounds. Third base, we're beginning to blend and segment words together. Learning how to read...That's our home run," said Alisa McDermott, Inclusion Kindergarten Teacher.

McDermott wrote an essay about how they incorporated the programs into the lives of students and built upon the original foundation.

"This was a hope and a dream, something that Ms. McDermott applied for over the summer. So she wrote a really beautiful essay about our students... to work with the Phillies team and have this come true," said Suzanne Rutter.

Everything culminated when the kids got to meet the Phillie Phanatic in their school assembly today.

"In all my years teaching, there've been different things that have made a difference in my life and have been important...This is one of them. It's an honor and a reward to have the Phillie Phanatic come to our school and show how hard we work," said McDermott.

McDermott and J. Harvey Rodgers School was ecstatic to host the iconic mascot for students who haven't had the chance to enjoy seeing him in the ballpark before.

For more information on the "Phanatic About Reading Program," check out their website!