Official Publication of the Massachusetts Teachers Association
New season for partnerships begins on high note
By Bob Duffy
A s the Boston Red Sox ended their storybook season by winning the World Series, the MTA’s student achievement partnerships
turned their focus to the Boston Bruins and Boston
Both teams are once again working with the
MTA this fall on programs to help encourage
students to excel in school.
Last year, 2,400 teachers participated in the
Boston Bruins’ I.C.E. School program, which
is sponsored by AT&T. The program provides
kindergarten-through-eighth-grade teachers with
lesson plans that are tied to the Massachusetts
Curriculum Frameworks. Hockey is incorporated
into all of the I.C.E. School lessons.
The letters stand for “I Can Excel.” Grade-specific I.C.E. School curriculum materials cover a
number of subjects, including French, geography,
math, English/language arts, physical education,
science and computer science.
Students who complete the lessons receive a
certificate signed by a Bruins player. Educators in the
program receive a monthly I.C.E. School newsletter
with program updates, exclusive ticket offers and
In addition, program participants are eligible to
win autographed Bruins merchandise or a classroom
visit by Blades, the Bruins’ Mascot, and the Bruins
The program has seen renewed interest since the
team’s appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs last
“I see a lot more Bruins gear being worn in our
building this year,” said Bob Doherty, a fifth-grade
teacher at the Goodyear Elementary School in
Woburn. “That helps make the students excited about
the lessons because they are all talking about the
He added that the program is a “great tool to
help my students,” especially as a motivator for those
who may be interested in sports.
Doherty uses several of the English lesson plans
and all of the fifth-grade math lesson plans. An I.C.E.
School math lesson on angles using hockey has been
particularly effective, he said.
“I have noticed improvement in individual items
on the MCAS test, and I feel it’s related to the I.C.E.
School lessons,” Doherty added.
Bruins goalie Chad Johnson recently visited
Doherty’s class as part of the program. The player
spent time with each student and participated in a
lesson plan designed to increase teamwork among
“For the most part, kids just want to have fun,
but they also want to learn,” said Johnson. He
explained that using professional sports figures as
academic role models reminds students that learning
is important in all walks of life.
“It helps for them to know that no matter what
you do, there’s always something you can get out of
school,” Johnson said. “It’s important to learn and
develop life skills.”
M eanwhile, the Boston Celtics are again partnering with the MTA to give students the chance to earn discounted tickets to
games through the MTA Boston Celtics Honor Roll
The Celtics program rewards students with a
B average or perfect attendance with the chance
to purchase discounted tickets to certain games.
A certificate also entitles the winner’s family
and friends to buy and reserve additional seats to
to go down to the parquet floor and high-five players
as they take the court after halftime.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley has stepped in as
the primary spokesman for the program this season
while regular honor roll spokesman Rajon Rondo
recovers from a knee injury.
The fall and winter partnerships are ramping up
after a particularly exciting year for the MTA Red
Sox Reading Game. To participate in the annual
contest, students in kindergarten through eighth
grade must pledge to read nine books over the
summer — one for each position on the baseball
A Sept. 21 celebration capped this year’s edition
of the reading game, as 100 students and their
teachers attended a game at Fenway Park after their
entry forms were chosen in a random drawing from
among thousands that had been submitted. Five
grand-prize winners were invited onto the field for a
Just weeks after the game, the Sox went on to
win the World Series on their home turf at Fenway
Park, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals and sparking
jubilation in Boston and beyond.
For information about the MTA Boston Celtics
Honor Roll program, call the Celtics’ Chrissy Cronin
at 617.854.8034 or e-mail email@example.com. For
information about the Bruins’ I.C.E. School program,
e-mail Community Relations Coordinator Ashley
Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
The five grand-prize winners of the 2013
MTA Red Sox Summer Reading Game,
flanked by Wally the Green Monster
and MTA President Paul Toner, were
acknowledged by fans before a home game
on Sept. 21. The ceremony on the field at
Fenway Park capped another successful
season for the contest, in which thousands
of students in kindergarten through eighth
grade pledge to keep reading over the
summer. The reading game is sponsored by
The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation.
Photo by Michael Cummo/Boston Red Sox