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IRA Campaign Aims to Net 4 Million Student-Reading Minutes

The International Reading Association announced this week that is again teaming up with the American Basketball Association to encourage students to increase the time they spend reading. The program, called Fast Break for Reading, provides participating students a ticket to an ABA game of their choice, as well as a certificate and eligibility for a grand prize.

This is the second year the IRA has worked with the ABA, a semi-professional men's basketball league, to promote student interest in reading. Interested teachers can register online to download and distribute timesheets on which students can record their reading minutes in order to participate. In 2012-13, according to the IRA, the program clocked in more than 2.1 million minutes of student reading during the Fast Break for Reading campaign. This year's goal is 4 million student-reading minutes.

The IRA also announced that First Book, a non-profit dedicated to providing children from low-income families with books and educational materials, has joined this year as a partner of the initiative. Under this new partnership, First Book will provide free and low-cost reading materials to teachers of eligible students as a component of their participation in Fast Break for Reading. Schools can also receive additional reading materials through the campaign's "Bucket for Books" program, in which fans donate books at ABA games in exchange for half-price tickets.

Interested in participating? The ABA is also seeking teacher volunteers to serve as liaisons between individual ABA teams and their local school districts. More information on how to register for Fast Break for Reading or become a Teacher Liaison can be found at www.reading.org/fastbreak.

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