Fred Valentine, Former Switch-hitting Outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Senators Helps Area Elementary Students Read Like “Champions”

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Thursday May 16, 2013 at 6:00pm major league baseball great Fred Valentine, Washington Senators “MVP of ‘66,” will be featured as part of Hoffman-Boston Elementary School's "Reading Program" initiative sponsored by the award-winning Arlington Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Fred Valentine, featured as Sports Illustrated's "Man of the Week" during his succesful MLB career as Washington Senators (Washington Nationals) "MVP of '66"

Like baseball success, the key to reading success is practice, practice, practice.

On Thursday May 16, 2013 at 6:00pm major league baseball great Fred Valentine, former switch-hitting outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators “MVP of ‘66” (now Washington Nationals), will be featured reading “The Bat Boy and His Violin” at Arlington’s Hoffman-Boston Elementary School. Like baseball success, the key to reading success is “practice, practice, practice.” As the former Sports Illustrated “Player of the Week,” Mr. Valentine is now focused on winning the game of reading, in particular among young males. According to the Center for Education Policy, “Boys lag behind girls in reading profiency in all 50 States.” Young boys participating in this reading initiative actually requested that a program be developed specifically for them. This new initiative at Hoffman-Boston is in conjunction with the ”Book Club" created in 2011, by Arlington Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Connecting Links, husbands of the Links Chapter members, are also partners in this reading program along with male teachers at the partner school. Currently in its sophmore year, the quarterly “Book Club” was designed to further enrich students’ reading interest, comprehension and aptitude. The elementary school participants at Hoffman-Boston are encouraged to read all year long. At the end of the school year, a male and female student win the $100 grand prize from the Arlington Chapter for having read the most books.

Recognized in 2012 by Arlington County Public Schools (APS) for outstanding service contributions to the school system, the award winning Arlington Chapter has been working diligently with partner school, Hoffman-Boston for the past six years. The Chapter has volunteered thousands of hours within the past school year alone from working in classrooms, planning and executing school events and initiatives, while serving as mentors and tutors alongside with fellow Connecting Links. In addition, the chapter helps to organize and fund the school’s signature “Multi-Cultural Night” extravaganza and “Girls on the Run” initiative. Through this win-win partnership, the Arlington Chapter has witnessed how such community engagement can positively impact student success.

About Mr. Fred Valentine: Fred “Squeaky” Valentine was 24 years old when he broke into the major leagues on September 7, 1957, with the Baltimore Orioles. He had four offers from pro baseball teams and three offers from pro football teams. A shoulder injury and a promising offer from the Baltimore Orioles helped convince the Tennesee State University (TSU) all-american quarterback to pursue a pro baseball career. Mr. Valentine made history being among the first athletes from TSU to reach the major leagues. He played for seven seasons in the majors, including both Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators, both of which are part of the American League’s eight charter franchises in 1901. Mr. Valentine was also featured as Sports Illustrated's “Player of the Week” and the Washington Senators “MVP” in 1966. He retired from the majors in 1971, and is currently the Vice-President and Secretary of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

About The Links Incorporated: The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs. The award winning Arlington Chapter was chartered in November of 1966.

Media Contact: Michelle Bailey linksarlingtonpr(at)yahoo(dot)com (Arlington Links Public Relations)

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