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posted: 4/16/2013 9:07 AM

Area students named 'Ozzie's Scholars'

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Submitted by Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars have designated a total of 10 Chicago area youth as "Ozzie's Scholars."

The Cougars' inaugural reading scholarship program encouraged current and former members of Ozzie's Reading Club to submit a brief essay explaining how their love for reading was furthered through Ozzie's Reading Club, the Cougars' reading incentive program.

Since the program's inception 18 years ago, more than 2.1 million Chicago area youth have participated in Ozzie's Reading Club, which tracks the progress of a student's reading around the bases of a baseball diamond. Each participating teacher may determine his or her own reading requirements.

Students completing the program's requirements "hit a home run" and earn a free ticket to a Cougars game designated by their school, along with a pregame parade, special T-shirt and food voucher.

The following winners have been selected by the Cougars and awarded a $1,000 savings bond scholarship from the Cougars organization: Madison L. (Country Trails Elementary, Elgin); Mackenzie O. (Lincoln Elementary, St. Charles); Jake K. (Graham Elementary, Naperville); Caelen D. (Lord and Savior Lutheran School, Crystal Lake); Erin R. (Resurrection Lutheran School, Aurora); Abby W. (St. Celestine School, Elmwood Park); Reghan Q. (Oswego East High); Alex B. (Fremd High, Palatine); Heather Z. (Elgin Community College); and Connor M. (Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa).

Winners and their families will be recognized before the Sunday, July 7, Cougars game.

"Thank you to all of our Ozzie's Scholars applicants. We received so many entries from applicants who currently see, or saw as former members of Ozzie's Reading Club, tangible benefits toward their involvement with the program as it applies to their daily lives," Cougars Ozzie's Reading Club Coordinator Amy Mason said.