2009 Fast Break To Reading Program Encourages Youth Nationwide to Read for One Million Minutes
STAMFORD, Conn. & NEW YORK, June 17, 2009 - Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced today that they are coming together again to raise awareness for literacy across the United States. The 2009 Fast Break To Reading program encourages youth nationwide to read throughout the summer and track their minutes at http://www.wnba.com/fbtr/. The goal is for the youth to collectively reach one million minutes of reading time.
To introduce the national literacy program, Pitney Bowes and the WNBA are holding a Youth Reading Rally in New York City today with young students from PS 33 Chelsea Prep. Participants will include New York Liberty players, and WNBA and Pitney Bowes executives. The event will be held at Madison Square Garden.
Ten WNBA teams will participate in the season-long, Fast Break To Reading program: the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics. Each team will tip off its local program in June in collaboration with a local literacy organization. The teams will also work with Pitney Bowes to hold Reading Timeouts to read to area youth and speak about the importance of reading.
Youth participating in the program will receive one of 16 collectible bookmarks autographed by a WNBA player each week when they enter their reading minutes at the Fast Break To Reading Web site. The Web site also features WNBA players’ favorite books, a player Q&A section and polls about reading. The site also includes links to a Fast Break To Reading fan page on Facebook, YouTube videos, photographs posted on flickr and the latest program updates on Twitter.
“Literacy and education are critical to the development and success of our nation’s youth,” said Juanita James, chief marketing and communications officer, Pitney Bowes. “We are excited to be teaming up with the WNBA again and look forward to working together to help raise awareness of literacy and encourage young students to read.”
“Since the league’s inception, reading and literacy has always been an important initiative for the WNBA and our players,” said WNBA President Donna Orender. “We are thrilled to once again work with Pitney Bowes to highlight the significance of education and our athletes are just as excited to deliver this important program to their young fans across the country.”
About Pitney Bowes:
Pitney Bowes is a $6.3 billion global technology leader whose products, services and solutions deliver value within the mailstream and beyond. Founded in 1920, our company’s 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. For more information about Pitney Bowes, its products, services and solutions, visit www.pb.com.
About the WNBA:
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement and diversity. Comprised of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 12th regular season with increases in attendance, ratings, Web traffic and merchandise sales. The 2009 WNBA season tipped off June 6 on ABC.
Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.