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10/13/2011 2:00 PM - Season-long program is part of ongoing support in the greater Rockford area

Rockford, Ill. -
BMO Harris Bank along with the Rockford IceHogs are teaming up to promote literacy in our schools by introducing “Goals for Grades,” a program to support the "Success by 6" Page Turner Reading Program and “I READ”, an early grade reading initiative, through the United Way of Rock River Valley. 

During each IceHogs regular season game in 2011-12, BMO Harris Bank will make a donation of $20 for every goal scored, up to $6,000, during the season at the newly named BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.  All proceeds will be donated to the United Way to support "Success by 6" and “I READ”.

“Helping children succeed in school will have lasting rewards that will empower our community and improve our educational system,” said Andrea Ward, BMO Harris Market President. “This program further strengthens our commitment to the Rockford community and our new partnership with the IceHogs and the BMO Harris Bank Center.”

“We are grateful to BMO Harris and the IceHogs for this new United Way partnership in support of our children,” said Paul Logli, President & CEO of the United Way of Rock River Valley. “‘Goals for Grades’ is exciting, fun and life-changing for the youth of our community.”

About Success by 6:
Success by 6 is a United Way early childhood education initiative that works to ensure that all children from birth to age 6 develop pre-literacy skills essential to school readiness and success in kindergarten. Through the Page Turner Reading Program, children ages 3-5 will receive new, age-appropriate books to build their own home library, receive critical early learning information, and participate in child-parent literacy activities.

About "I Read":
“I READ” is a partnership between United Way and the Rockford and Harlem School Districts that pairs reading mentors with kindergarten students and prepares students to read proficiently by fourth grade. Reading mentors will meet with students weekly during the school day until they complete third grade. About 160 reading mentors have been recruited and they are currently being paired with students.