GPLS, the Atlanta Hawks, and Hawks center Dwight Howard and his D12 Foundation welcomed children to the kickoff of the Hawks Check It Out Reading Challenge and Atlanta premiere of the fourth film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, The Long Haul. Howard, an Atlanta native, is a big fan of the book series and was able to spend time with the author and cast while they filmed in Atlanta last summer.

Metro Atlanta children who registered and participated in CIORC last year were given the opportunity to win free tickets to the event and a chance to walk the READ Carpet with Howard, who is serving as honorary chair for this years program. The winners posed with Howard receiving star treatment from local media outlets and some incredibly proud parents.

CIORC, now in its 13th year, is a summer reading partnership between the Georgia Public Library Service and the Atlanta Hawks National Basketball Association team that aims to increase literacy rates and instill a love of reading for kids and teens. By signing up at their local library, participants who read five books are eligible to receive one FREE youth ticket to a pre-selected Hawks game with the purchase of one adult ticket.

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