||Pelicans Programs Awarded For Positive Impact on Youth
Mascot Splash has helped with many Pelican community projects.
The South Carolina Department of Education awarded the Myrtle Beach Pelicans the Palmetto Service Volunteer Award based on the club’s efforts in several family-friendly programs at the ballpark. The Pelicans received the recognition because of Dinger’s Home Run Reading Club, Pelicans Reading Pals and the Pelicans/Horry County COPE Team “Reading Patrol.”
The award will be presented to the Pelicans on their opening night of Friday, April 11, 2003.
Dinger’s Home Run Reading Club, named after the Pelicans’ celebrity dog, has reached over 14,000 students in first through fourth grades. The Pelicans, and sponsors Wendy’s, Shell Rapid Lube and Build-A-Bear Workshop worked together to design a points system that conincides with the Accelerated Reader program within all Horry County Public Schools.
Through the Pelicans’ Reading Pals, full-time Pelicans staff members read to selected Horry County Schools from 8:00 – 9:00am.
Books at the Ballpark took place at Coastal Federal Field on May 14, 2002. The Pelicans invited over 1,200 of Horry County Schools’ Accelerated Reader points champions to a pep rally at the ballpark. The three-hour event included a salute to Myrtle Beach’s fire, police, and rescue personnel, a poster contest, a cheering contest, guest speakers, and many area mascots. Books at the Ballpark concluded with all students having approximately one hour of “Open Reading” time, in which they found dugout tops, bleacher seats, grass hill – anywhere to get comfortable and read on a bright sunshine day in Myrtle Beach.
The Pelicans / Horry County Police Reading Patrol” took place on May 22. The Pelicans joined forces with the Horry County Police for a day of getting the players and officers out into the schools. The event was originally designed to simply deliver the Reading Club prizes to the schools, but the Pelicans took the next step of having each of the 17 schools put together a 30-minute assembly in which a Pelicans player and HCP officer would take turns reading, concluding with a question/answer session with questions ranging from, “Who’s your favorite baseball player?” to “What do you guys eat before a game?”
Two lucky schools, Myrtle Beach Primary and Socastee Elementary, were lucky to get a special Reading Patrol treat. Their Patrol consisted of Pelicans mascots “Splash,” “Splish,” Manager Randy Ingle, Pitcher Matt McClendon, two HCP officers, “Wendy” from Wendy’s, “Lubie” from Shell Rapid Lube, and Dinger himself. All three area TV stations covered the event.
Overall, these programs made a huge impact on Horry County students. Reading for comprehension scores via the “Reading Club” have never been better, and the Pelicans are looking forward to kicking off the club for 2003 on January 13.