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Sanford Mainers Launch Literacy Program

Stephanie Wilkins of Altrusa joins Andrea Pais of the Mainers and Marie Burns of Books Revisited.

Stephanie Wilkins of Altrusa joins Andrea Pais of the Mainers and Marie Burns of Books Revisited.

Photo: courtesy of Sanford Mainers

Press release

The Sanford Mainers have launched a literacy program that provides activity books, giveaway game tickets, a recognition night, story hour and a tiny library.

“We have a unique opportunity to serve as a literacy gateway to our local youth who might not otherwise participate in reading programs,” explained Andrea Pais, the baseball team’s office and sales manager. “Our mission is to strengthen literacy skills within the Sanford-Springvale community to gain the confidence children need to positively engage with the world around them.”

This program would operate in two yearly 12-week sessions with an age range of kindergarten to grade 8. The first session runs now through May.

Each participating child receives a passport book that lists participating venues, the outline of the program, and upcoming events. Inside the passport will be a baseball diamond. Readers can track their reading around the bases in 15-minute increments. Once at home plate, students receive two game day tickets to a Sanford Mainers home game. There is no limit to the number of times they can turn in a finished worksheet.

There will be a recognition night for all reading program participants and their families at an in-season game and a photo opportunity with the team, coaching staff, Broose and Boomer as well as certificates for the children.

McSea Publishing, owned by celebrated children’s author Stephanie Mulligan (wife of retired NFL player Matt Mulligan), has agreed to work with the Mainers to develop a baseball short story and activity book to go with the reading program. This book will be available to sell in the Mainers’ retail store and souvenir shop and from book sellers throughout Maine. Revenue from sales will be utilized to maintain the community-centered literacy program. The initial quote from the publisher is $6,500. The Mainers are committed to supporting a Maine printing company for this process and would like to have 1,000 copies in the initial publication. Printing costs may fluctuate, so they estimate the books will eventually retail between $12 and $15.

The Sanford Mainers Book will include short stories about mascots Broose and Boomer, a history of the Sanford Mainers, celebrated athletes from Maine, tips for healthy choices, and other material.

In addition, a tiny library built by Habitat for Humanity will be installed at the park during our season and at the Mainers office in the off-season. Books Revisited on Main Street has agreed to be a location for students to stamp their progress. Altrusa has donated to the program so that children can choose a book with a coupon they receive when signing up for Boomer’s Bookworms.

Springvale Library is providing space for the Mainers Literacy Program entitled “Adventures in Baseball” and will host a reading hour. During baseball season, Mainers players will be invited to read aloud to children. The Springvale children’s librarian has suggested sports-themed takeaway crafts and activities to coincide with our display area.

Zippy Copy will serve as a stamping location in South Sanford as well as providing printing materials for the program at a discounted rate.

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