One of the more popular promotions to come from the Fort Myers Miracle "think tank" is the summer reading program they call Books & Bats."
The program, entering its 13th year, is a cooperation between the Miracle and Lee County Wendy's restaurants. Students age 12 and younger are encouraged to read books over the summer and fill out a Books & Bats bookmark. A completed bookmark, representing four books, entitles the student to get a free junior Frosty from Wendy's and two free tickets to a designated Miracle game.
"It's a great program," said Miracle director of sales and marketing Terry Simon. "The teachers really like it because it encourages students to read throughout the summer."
Bookmarks were distributed to private schools in Lee County as well as public schools and are still available at schools, the Lee County public library, Hammond Stadium or all participating Wendy's locations in the county.
When the "bookworms" read a book they record the name on the bookmark and turn them in it at Wendy's after four books are read.
"We have thousands of students participate in the program every year," said Simon. "They can turn in bookmarks as many times as they want to. They can read 16 books if they want to, and many do that and more."
The free Miracle tickets are good for three "Education Days" games on Wednesday, June 13; Monday, July 23; and Friday, Aug. 10.
"For younger kids who might not be of reading age yet we encourage their parents to read to those kids because that counts as well," said Simon.
Miracle tickets can be used by both children and their parents. All students age 12 and younger are eligible to participate in the "Books & Bats" program and participation is unlimited throughout the summer.
"Education Days and the Books & Bats reading program is a continuing part of our commitment to the local schools," said Simon. "This is a program that rewards kids for learning during the summer and we encourage all kids to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. And we extend a big 'Thank You" to Wendy's for participating with us."