Who Are These Cats in the Hats?

Summertime is here and you may have a hard time getting your kids to put down the video games and toys, and pick up a book instead. Several star Padres players got into the game Tuesday -- the reading game that is -- to help get kids excited about reading.

Edgar Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff joined forces with the National Education Association's "Read Across America" campaign to encourage local students to celebrate summer reading.

Hundreds of elementary school kids from Tierrasanta Elementary and Rich and Rogers Elementary got their reading lesson outside the classroom today for a special field trip to PETCO Park. The Cat in the Hat, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 also joined in on the fun! While Kevin Kouzmanoff read The Cat in the Hat in English, Edgar Gonzalez read the same story in Spanish.

"It's nice to be able to hang out with a whole bunch of kids and read them a book because I was in their shoes at one
time and I remember how cool it was for somebody to read a book to me that I looked up to," said Kevin Kouzmanoff.

The National Education Association's Read Across America program encourages kids to read during the summer. Research shows that struggling readers slip between school years, contributing to achievement gaps between more and less economically
advantaged students.

"The loss in reading during the summer months when students aren't reading, especially students of color, it makes up for almost half of the difference in their ability and their gaps later on," said Dennis Van Roekel with the National Education Association. "So it's really important that parents read with their children, have them read to you, make it fun."

To get everyone into the game of reading, the San Diego Public Library system will be hosting read-ins throughout San Diego. There will also be bilingual readings in Spanish as well as several Asian languages.

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