The Mets partnered with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to launch the "Ya Gotta Read!" program to help foster a love of reading in students. The pilot program was offered to 1,000 third, fourth and fifth graders at P.S. 19 Marino Jeantet, one of the largest elementary schools in New York City.
The students were challenged to read one grade-level book a week during the six-week program which launched on the same day as Mets Spring Training. The class that read the most books would receive a visit from Mr. Met and a special guest.
Several weeks after the program concluded, a Mets player and Mr. Met visited the winning class which was comprised of fourth graders who read a total of 276 books. The two distributed certificates of completion to the students. The students at P.S. 19 stepped up to the plate and read a total of 4,061 books. They embraced reading and hit the game-winning home run for the inaugural Mets "Ya Gotta Read!" program.