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Fill the Boot Program


The Fill the Boot with Books Third Grade Reading Program is sponsored yearly by the Peoria Firefighter’s Charities.  It is a program that we enjoy immensely as it allows us to engage in helping to develop one of the most important skills a child can develop.  The aim of the program is to encourage our Peoria third graders to read as much as possible over a three-month period. So, let’s dive right into the details!

The program kicks off in November with a pancake breakfast at Rio Vista Park.  Bus transportation will be scheduled and provided by PUSD and organized by the Peoria Firefighter’s Charities.  On arrival at the park, the third graders will be met by, well, a party!  Our Peoria Firefighters will be on hand preparing pancakes while the students get to enjoy outdoor time at Rio Vista Park, complete with a bouncy house provided by the city.  It’s pancakes and playground time leading up to the official opening ceremonies to start everything off! 

Following the opening ceremonies, the program begins.  Students are challenged to read as many books and chapters as possible over a three month period.  During this time, score sheets will be provided and it will be the students’ and their grown ups’ job to keep track of their progress and share it with you.  During December, January, and February, Peoria Fire Department trucks and personnel share the experience by coming out to the schools for fire truck tours and to read to the classes.  The idea is for the kids to read as many books and chapters as possible during these three months.  At the end of the program, everyone all gets back together for a final BBQ at Rio Vista Park for the Closing Ceremonies/Award Presentation.

In March, at the conclusion of the program we all come back together for a final BBQ and awards ceremony.  We are lucky enough to have generous sponsors that donate lots of great prizes.  Our top winners every year have been awarded with Amazon Kindle Readers, as well as spring training tickets, movie passes, and other great prizes.  However, the most coveted prize of all is the Boot Trophy.  The stuff of legend within the Peoria third grade, the Boot Trophy is awarded to the school that has read the most combined books and chapters at the end of the program. 

                The Fill the Boot with Books Reading Program is an opportunity for the Fire Department to be active participants in the community we serve.  We have sponsored this program for the past fifteen years, obviously excluding 2020, and look forward to it every year.  Thank you for taking the time to read this information and we’ll see you soon!




Evan Slater
Peoria Fire-Medical Department