Thanks to Longe Optical and PBS39 (WFWA), the TinCaps Reading Program has reached new heights in 2015. The influence of local partners will be on full display at Wednesday’s 11:05 a.m. TinCaps game when Parkview Field is set to host approximately 4,000 school children — a record number at one game.
Longe Optical, the exclusive eye care provider of the TinCaps, became the presenting sponsor of the TinCaps Reading Program in 2014. As a result of the commitment of Longe Optical’s four Fort Wayne locations, the program now has 64,789 students participating throughout Northeast Indiana, Northwest Ohio, and southern Michigan. That’s an increase of nearly 10,000 students from a year ago.
“The TinCaps Reading Program presented by Longe Optical is one of the top literacy programs in the country,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “As the son of a teacher, I’ve seen the impact that reading and literacy can have on a child. The teachers in our region are as good as anywhere in the country and we love having them partner with us on this tremendous program. It’s completely free for the schools thanks to our partners at Longe Optical.”
The TinCaps Reading Program is a community initiative which encourages students to read by setting individual goals for number of books, number of pages, hours spent reading, etc. Each student “rounds the bases,” hitting benchmarks until the final goal is reached, and with that milestone comes a free ticket to a TinCaps game, a hot dog, and a bottle of water. Participating schools also can receive a visit from the TinCaps’ mascot, Johnny.
"We are thrilled to see the growth in the TinCaps Reading Program,” said Jeff Ostermann, President, Longe Optical. “For more than 65 years, Longe Optical has had a deep commitment to helping children see better with innovations such as our HD digital lenses and $99 kids eyeglass packages. With the growth in the program we know that thousands more children are seeing and reading better than ever before and we are excited to see even more participation in the years to come."
Growth of the TinCaps Reading Program presented by Longe Optical
# of Students 54,821 64,789
# of Educators 4,194 4,938
Indiana Schools 237 266
Ohio Schools 30 31
Michigan Schools 5 5
Total Schools 272 302