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Children’s Hospital teaming up with Columbia Fireflies

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital teams up with Columbia Fireflies to promote reading and literacy through the Fireflies Reading Program

Program is example of strong community partnership

Columbia Fireflies

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, as an advocate for children’s health and development, has teamed up to with the Columbia Fireflies as the lead sponsor of their Reading Program. The Fireflies Reading Program, which helps promote reading and literacy by providing students incentives to read, had nearly 50,000 students participate in 2016, the team’s first year. Students who participated were from across South Carolina from the Midlands to Rock Hill to far away as Hilton Head.

Caughman Taylor, M.D., Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital senior medical director, said “We know that reading aloud to children until they are in the eighth grade is important in developing vocabulary, promoting academic success and even predicting health outcomes to some degree over a lifespan. But, the mind is a “like a muscle” and reading develops it, helps us discover new things, opens our mind to more complex thinking, and develops our imagination and creative side. As advocates for children in our community, we want to reach beyond the doors of our hospital to improve the lives of children. We are proud to collaborate with the Fireflies to bring this important program to our community.”

The Fireflies reading program:

  • Offers students who “read around the bases” by a date set by their school a free Fireflies ticket that can be used on Reading Program dates
  • Presents each child with a special grand prize upon arrival at Spirit Communications Park.
  • Provides a free hot dog, chips and drink meal voucher during their trip
  • Ensure that each participant gets a free pass to EdVenture to be used later
  • Features 18 Reading Program dates with four popular 11:05 a.m. field trip dates

“We are very excited to announce our partnership with Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital for both our in-school and summer Reading Programs,” said Fireflies President John Katz. “The Reading Program provides educators with a fantastic incentive-based program that rewards children based on reading goals set by the teachers in each classroom. Partnering with the Children’s Hospital allows us to further our goals of enhancing literacy and healthy living in the Midlands in a fun and memorable way.”

The Fireflies Reading Program runs during the spring semester with select game dates in April and May, listed below, to choose from. The Fireflies will send all required materials to schools in December before dismissal for the winter break. Students of all levels are encouraged to participate in the program. The Fireflies will provide a free ticket to all educators who help facilitate the program.

The educational program is looking to expand to new schools across South Carolina. Enrollment is open and schools can enroll online via the Fireflies website at

2017 Fireflies Reading Program presented by Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital dates (morning games in bold):

  • Friday, April 21, 7:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 7, 2:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22, 7:05 p.m.
  • Monday, May 8, 7:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 23, 2:05 p.m.
  • Friday, May 19, 7:05 p.m.
  • Monday, April 24, 7:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 20, 7:05 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 25, 11:05 a.m.
  • Sunday, May 21, 2:05 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 26, 11:05 a.m.
  • Monday, May 22, 7:05 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 3, 11:05 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 24, 11:05 a.m.
  • Friday, May 5, 7:05 p.m.
  • Monday, May 29, 7:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 6, 7:05 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 30, 7:05 p.m.

More information about the Fireflies Reading Program can be found here. For more information about Palmetto  Health Children’s Hospital, visit

About Palmetto Health Children's Hospital
Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is South Carolina’s first children's hospital and has more than 150,000 children’s visits each year. It offers more than 30 subspecialties to meet the unique health care needs of children and has central South Carolina's only Children’s Emergency Center. With more than 350 professionals who work exclusively with children, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital has a team of highly skilled and trained experts unmatched by any hospital in the Midlands. Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is the place to go for children's medical care, because the best care matters.

About Columbia Fireflies
The Columbia Fireflies are the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. The Fireflies play games across the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, including against in-state rivals in Charleston and Greenville. The team plays in the award-winning Spirit Communications Park, a multi-use outdoor sports and entertainment venue at the center of the Commons at BullStreet development. The Columbia Fireflies are owned by Hardball Capital, owners of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League.