It's almost Baseball time. Spring training is in full swing, and next month the Whitecaps will be hitting it out of the park, we hope, at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The Whitecaps have become such a huge part of our community, and the organization works throughout the year not only promoting baseball, but helping the community with their Community Foundation. They just announced something big.

The West Michigan Whitecaps Community Foundation is celebrating “March is Reading Month” in a big way this year, by donating 5,000 books to local Grand Rapids elementary schools. The book donations will benefit the students of 15 Grand Rapids Public Schools recommended for the program based on their needs and their potential for impacting as large a student group as possible.

The Whitecaps Community Foundation started their book donation program two years ago when 300 books were donated to one school in need and since then the program has skyrocketed to this year's 5,000 book donation.

Another exciting part of the program is kids who read 15 minutes a day, during the month of March, can attend a Whitecaps game for free in April, May or June. Last year’s Reading Program had more than 67,000 K-6 children participate from over 260 West Michigan schools, and nearly 16,000 complimentary tickets were donated to students who completed the challenge.

For details on the Whitecaps Community Foundation’s programs and how to participate in the Reading Program please visit us at www.whitecapscommunityfoundation.org or call the Whitecaps front office at 616.784.4131.