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NEA hits PETCO Park Friday, July 3

San Diego - July 03, 2009 -

More than 7,000 educators will gather tonight at PETCO Park to celebrate the National Education Association’s “Night at the Ballpark” and encourage students and parents alike to get into the game of their children’s education.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel—a math teacher from Paradise Valley, Ariz., and the nation’s highest elected education leader—will share the mound with the San Diego Padres, the National Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen and other education leaders before throwing out the first pitch in front of a sold-out crowd when the Padres open up their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The game’s first 10,000 lucky fans will receive red and white striped hats to promote NEA’s Read Across America—the nation’s largest reading celebration—and enjoy the game in true Seuss style.  While adults enjoy all the action out on the field, children will have an opportunity to take their photo with the Cat in the Hat and his friends, Thing 1 and Thing 2, at a special Seuss-style kiosk.  Read Across America, NEA’s award winning literacy program, will have summer reading tips for parents, photo frames and lots of Seuss-tastic giveaways to encourage youngsters to read over the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Friday’s game caps off a week during which the Padres have highlighted the importance of education and learning during the summer months.  On June 30, more than 300 local students joined Padres players Edgar Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff who traded their baseball caps for reading hats during a special read-in with NEA members and Dr. Seuss’s famous feline—the Cat in the Hat.

 WHO:  NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
   National Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen
   California Teachers Association President David Sanchez
   Thing 1, Thing 2 and the Cat in the Hat, courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.D.
 WHAT:  San Diego Padres host the Los Angeles Dodgers
   NEA’s “Night at the Ballpark”
 WHEN:  Pre-game ceremony at 6:55 p.m., followed by opening pitch at 7:05 p.m. PDT
   Friday, July 3, 2009
 WHERE:  San Diego Padres PETCO Park
   100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA
   NEA’s Seuss-style kiosk will be located near Section 129 in the Padres Power Alley

One of the largest conventions to arrive in San Diego in recent years, NEA’s Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly will be in full swing on Friday when the San Diego Padres host its Southern California rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The convention, posed to bring in an estimated $35 million to the local economy, is the largest democratic deliberative body in the world.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers  (202) 270-5333,