Suncoast Credit Union partners with ‘Reading With The Rays’ for second year

TAMPA, FL (June 16, 2015) — Suncoast Credit Union (Suncoast) announces the second year of partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays for “Reading with the Rays – Read Your Way to the Ballpark”. Now in its eighth year, the incentive-based reading program encourages children to read during the summer months to prevent learning loss. The program launched June 14 and Reading with the Rays game cards, used to track hours spent reading, may be picked up at participating public libraries in nine counties.

A study by Ohio State University found that all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests administered at the beginning of a school year. Reading with the Rays works to combat this with support from the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education (NIE) and Suncoast.

“Suncoast sponsors this program because it aligns with our mission of supporting educational initiatives. This one inspires children to become lifelong readers,” said Executive Director of Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, Cindy Helton, “and research shows reading is fundamental to a wide variety of children’s development, from basic grammar to enhanced creativity.”

Children spent an estimated 135,000 hours reading during the program in 2014.  There were over 22,000 participants throughout nine counties across Tampa Bay. Elementary aged children are eligible to participate and ‘read around the bases’ to collect Rays rewards. Two free tickets to a Rays game will be awarded to kids who read a total of 24 hours during the summer. Additional program information is available at:

About Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership and the thirteenth largest in the United States based on its $6.3 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 57 full-service branches and serves more than 641,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota and Sumter. The Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1992 with the mission to promote the education, health and emotional well-being of children in the local communities served by Suncoast Credit Union. Over the past 23 years, the Foundation has raised and donated over $13 million dollars to help provide a better future for children. For more information, visit: or @SuncoastCU.

About Rays Baseball Foundation

The Tampa Bay Rays have proudly represented Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay region since 1998. The organization and its foundation are committed to building a strong community bond through meaningful interaction and charitable contributions. 

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