MISSOULA, Mont. - The Osprey baseball club has been promoting literacy in Missoula schools since its arrival in 1999.
'Hit the Books' has grown every year, and now reaches more schools outside Missoula. There are more than 240 participating schools from Missoula to the Bitterroot and all the way up the Flathead Valley.
"It has been well accepted from the beginning," says Jeff Griffin, the Osprey vice president, "All the school administrators and librarians jumped behind it, and the parents -- we get letters that say how great this is for their kids."
Last year students finished 50,000 books between all the participating readers.
Kids who read three books finish an inning. Each inning earns them a prize from the Osprey.
The first inning prize is two Osprey tickets. Subsequent innings earn Osprey memorabilia and a ticket to enter a drawing for a Kindle e-reader.
The campaign runs for seven weeks -- that's one week longer than past years -- and there is a possibility of winning nine innings.