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    Pacific to take “Time Out” to Read at ESPN-Televised Basketball Game

    Jan 15, 2010

    Thousands of basketball fans will simultaneously take a moment to read a newspaper, book or magazine during a nationally televised game on Jan. 23 at University of the Pacific. The mass read-in will happen during one minute of a time out of the men's Pacific vs. UC Davis game, which will be televised on ESPNU. The event is part of a broader University effort to promote reading and boost local literacy rates. 

    Organized by Pacific and the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County, the "Take a Time Out for Reading" event will occur during the final full media timeout of the first half of the game, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Attendees who bring a book to donate will receive a half-price discount on tickets, which are regularly $10. Children age 12 and younger get in for free at all games, courtesy of Wells Fargo.

    "'Time Out for Reading' is the latest event in Pacific's proud tradition of sponsoring literacy programs that support reading and readers," said Brigid Welch, dean of Pacific's University Library and current president of the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County. "We hope the community will turn out in force to show a national viewing audience what we believe to be true-that San Joaquin County is a community of readers."

    During the time out, Pacific students, dance team, mascot and pep band will read books on the court and hold signs supportive of reading. After the time out, participants will be asked to leave their books in a collection bin as a donation for Reach Out & Read San Joaquin. The program promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by providing books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading often and reading aloud.

    In a recent study by Central Connecticut State University, Stockton placed 72nd among 75 U.S. cities in a literacy ranking for cities with 250,000 people or more. Throughout the game the public address announcer will read literacy rates in San Joaquin County and information about local literacy programs. A short video will also be played featuring Pacific Men's Basketball Coach Bob Thomason, a 1971 graduate of Pacific.

    The event is one of numerous Pacific reading efforts that include a reading mentor program, partnerships with local organizations and student-run book drives.