LAVAL (February 5, 2019) – The Laval Rocket launched its new school program, Read for fun with the Rocket, on Tuesday afternoon at Marcel-Vaillancourt Elementary School in Laval.
Those attending and participating in the launch of the Rocket’s newest community initiative included one hundred students and their teachers, several players, members of the organization, important political figures, as well as members of the media. The program aims to encourage reading among children through the promotion of the benefits and joys of reading, while also promoting hockey in elementary schools in the region, specifically among first and second grade students.
Rocket players Alexandre Alain, Alex Belzile and Maxim Lamarche stepped up to the microphone to tell students about their relationship with reading, while recounting the important parts of their sporting and academic backgrounds to the attentive group of young students gathered in the school’s gymnasium. The students then had the “The Hockey Sweater” read to them, the timeless classic written by Quebec author Roch Carrier. Alexandre Grenier narrated the story, which illustrates the passion and admiration for Maurice “Rocket” Richard among the youth of that era.
“It’s an honour for me to represent the Rocket at community events. Having had an interesting relationship with school myself, I find it very important to speak positively about reading with young students,” affirmed forward Alexandre Alain. “If kids are inspired when I speak to them about the benefits of reading and about my academic background, the program will have met its objective.”
The players also took the time to join in on a friendly ball hockey game with the students and teachers. Accompanied by team mascot COSMO, they also signed autographs and posed for pictures with the kids.
“This new school program becomes an important building block of the foundation that the Rocket aims to establish within the Laval community. Through various community initiatives, the Rocket has encouraged scholastic and academic projects. As an organization, we are proud to show kids that reading is an important aspect of their development, all while being fun,” declared Mark Weightman, the Rocket and Place Bell’s vice president of development and operations, at the end of the activity.
“At the Commission scolaire de Laval, we are fortunate enough to be able to count on our precious partners who believe just as strongly as we do in all of the benefits that reading can bring to a child. Together, with the collaboration of the teachers and principals, we want to bring about initiatives that will introduce more children to books. Because of this, it’s with great pleasure that we welcome the Rocket’s new program. On top of specifically targeting some of Laval’s first and second graders, this program proves that the pleasure of reading and sports can go hand-in-hand and both occupy the same amount of importance for children,” said Louise Lortie, the President of the Commission scolaire de Laval.
From now until the end of the 2019 school year, the Rocket will continue their visits into elementary schools in the Laval region, the Montreal region, and the North Shore of Montreal. Throughout these numerous visits, Rocket players will continue to promote the enjoyment of reading with their young fans, all while sharing a playing surface with them during friendly ball hockey games.