SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– A new effort to promote reading and literacy in Springfield is underway thanks to a member of the Springfield Thunderbirds hockey team.

‘Anthony’s Book Club’, named for Thunderbirds forward Anthony Angello, was created in partnership with the Springfield City Library and the T-Birds Foundation.

Angello will be visiting five different branches of the Springfield City Library in January and February for live story time readings, activities, and meet-and-greet sessions with young T-Birds fans. He will be joined by other team members and mascot Boomer. The Foundation will also be contributing to Anthony’s Book Club with donations of books and supplies during their visits.

“Just like the Springfield City Library, the Springfield Thunderbirds are part of our community,” said Jean Canosa Albano, Assistant Director for Public Services at the Springfield City Library. “When I learned about Anthony Angello’s commitment to reading and literacy through his ABC Anthony’s Book Club, I knew it was a great match for the Library. Reading aloud not only provides a foundation for success, it’s fun! We can’t wait to welcome Anthony, Boomer, and local families to the Library.”

“We are proud to support Anthony’s passion for children’s literacy through the ABC program,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “Any cause close to a player’s heart makes it all the more meaningful to us as an organization. The T-Birds Foundation will be directly involved from the onset of the program to ensure that the Springfield City Library has ample resources for all children who visit. It is our hope that the libraries are packed with enthusiastic young readers thanks to Anthony’s encouragement and example.”

Tentative dates and locations for Anthony’s Book Club are as follows:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 3:45-4:45 p.m. – East Forest Park Branch (136 Surrey Road, Springfield)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 3:45-4:45 p.m. – East Springfield Branch (21 Osborne Terrace, Springfield)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Springfield Central Library Children’s Room (220 State Street, Springfield)
  • Thursday, Feb. 23 from 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Mason Square Branch (765 State Street, Springfield)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 3:45-4:45 p.m. – Sixteen Acres Branch (1187 Parker Street, Springfield)

For more information about Anthony’s Book Club and other Thunderbirds community programming go to the team’s website.