Nats Manager Manny Acta spent a good part of his morning on Tuesday visiting with kids at Kimball Elementary, the Nats' adopted school.
Manny teamed up with Reading is Fundamental (RIF) President and CEO Carol Rasco to read to 45 second graders at the school.
Manny read a book about Clifford (the big red dog) visiting Washington, D.C., and he ad-libbed, saying a few pages were missing that told about Clifford visiting Nationals Park.
Before Tuesday's game, Manny told me that even though the team is struggling, it's still important to stick to the organization's goal of making a difference in the community.
He added that as a youngster he never saw anyone like Screech or a major league manager visit his school. He also told the kids how important reading is and stressed the need to learn how to read and write.
It might sound simple, but it's crucial for the future of those kids at Kimball.
As part of Tuesday's pre-game ceremony, nine students from the school were honored on the field by running out to their position, only to be joined by their National and major league counterpart.
The kids were greeted with handshakes and high fives. They really enjoyed it. Manny also gave the kids baseballs, and later during the game they told me how much it meant to them for the Nats manager to visit them and that they had a better understanding of why it's important to read.
And what better time is there than the summer to pick up a book and read? These youngsters were also given books by RIF and the Nationals, so they've got a jump start on their summer reading programs.
If you want more information on this and other reading programs click here to visit www.RIF.org.