Reading between the periods: Dryden GM Ice Dogs team up to help kids with their reading

Books in the bleachers. Young Ice Dogs fans check out some free books distributed by The Dryden GM Ice Dogs and Domtar during a recent home game. Photo by Michael Christianson

By Michael Christianson

The Dryden GM Ice Dogs are partnering with Domtar this season to get more children interested in reading with their Teaming up to Read campaign.

“Teaming up to Read is all about partnering with the Dryden GM Ice Dogs and Domtar to promote literacy in the community,” said Domtar’s Regional Public Affairs Manager Bonny Skene. ”It’s a key priority as Domtar for a company so we thought this would be a neat way to share with kids the whole idea of the cool factor of bringing the Ice Dogs to it and providing books for kids. There’s no other aim then bring a book home and enjoy it.”

A booth was set up inside the Memorial Arena during the Sept. 19 Dryden GM Ice Dogs’ hockey game. Books for all reading levels were being given away for free at the booth by Ice Dog players.

Kevin Davidson brought his three children to the game and was happy they could each leave the game with a book in hand.

“I think it’s a great program that they’ve started. Reading is always valuable no matter what age,” said Davidson. “Kudos to Domtar and the Ice Dogs for starting this.”

Further opportunities for the literacy campaign will come later in the year as the plan is to have players come to the library for reading circles as well as reading to students in the schools.

Ice Dogs’ General Manager Brian Bates says the partnership means a lot to the team and it also hits close to home for him.

“It means a ton for me,” said Bates. “I grew up in this town, it wasn’t always Domtar that owned the mill but the mill was a big part of me. It paid for my college education, my mom and dad both worked in the mill at one time. When I first came here they weren’t part of our community as far as advertising but they had their own agenda, they had things they could do. I went and saw Bonny last year and she said that they’re budgeted and everything and so she said ‘if we can do something with literacy’ and I said ‘we’ll do anything to get Domtar here’ but literacy dovetailed right with what we were doing anyway we were already starting to go to the schools last year.”


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