Arizona Coyotes encourage Valley students to read through incentive program

The Arizona Coyotes are giving kids incentives to pick up a book through their special reading program.

There is no denying Sherri Skummer's third grade class loves a good book.

"My class is advanced they just love reading," said Sherri Skummer, a third grade teacher. 

It's also pretty obvious that they're Arizona Coyote hockey fans. 

"They just do so much better when the program is starting, the prizes motivate them the competition to beat each other its amazing the results," said Skummer. 

For the fifth year in a row since the hockey team started its reading program, Sherri and her class at Desert Trails Elementary is counting words.

"Our goal for our class we also have a goal minute is 88,000 minutes we came up with that we are going to read 88,000 minutes until March," said Skummer. 

"We absolutely love being able to connect with teachers on this, I think one of the biggest things that we hear back is that kids are just really excited to have the opportunity to work towards goals," said Olivia Matos, with the Arizona Coyotes. 

The Coyotes reading program encourages kids to set reading goals, meet them, and be rewarded for their hard work. 

The program allows teachers and students to record minutes read, submit monthly totals, and win serious prizes, including class visits from the team Mascot, Howler, game tickets, pizza parties, and trips to tour Gila River Arena. 

"So our goal is really to kind of help support the teachers with some additional extra-curricular activities and goodies that they can earn as prizes throughout the program," explained Matos. 

The program serves children in grades two through four, like Ms. Skummer's class. 

"This is the most important year for them because they are now starting to read for enjoyment and before in the primary grades they were reading just to learn how to read now they are actually picking up books because they want to comprehend and enjoy books," said Skummer. 

For more information on the reading program, visit their website.