300 students reap reward for 100 hours of reading

May 27, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

As a reward for 100 hours of reading aloud, 300 students at Carrolltowne Elementary School now can direct their eyes to the movie screen.

Perusing pages of their favorite books earned each of them a pass to Carrolltowne Mall Movies, compliments of RC Theaters.

"They haven't made any movies out of the books I read," said Katie Bergstrom, 8, who said she would use her pass to see "The Flintstones."

Emily Taylor, 8, said she wasn't waiting for that movie to debut in Eldersburg. Her pass would be her ticket to "Monkey Trouble," now playing at the theater.

The school's Literacy Committee, made up of parent volunteers, distributed certificates and movie passes to the children last week.

"We are so proud of the work everyone did in 100 days," said Audrey Novak, committee co-chairwoman with Nancy Tissue.

The passes show that "businesses in our community consider reading is important to success," she said.

The goal of the program, which the committee has sponsored for three years, is to "create lifelong readers and learners," said Ms. Novak.

"It is the little push that made the children read more," said Ms. Tissue.

Each classroom had a volunteer parent coach who encouraged the children to read and tallied their hours. The students made calendar entries -- signed by their home coaches -- for each hour they read. Coaches could be any adult willing to listen.

"We didn't just want reading moms," said Ms. Novak. "It could be dads, grandparents, any adult. Reading aloud is the important success factor."

At each quarter milestone of the 100 hours, the committee offered rewards that included free snowballs, ice cream and pencils.

Although all the reading occurred outside the classrooms, the children's teachers played a role in the effort, said Assistant Principal Dean Johnson.

"Teachers encouraged the children and reminded them to bring in calendars," Mr. Johnson said. "The program was above and beyond what was done in the instruction day."

Mike Bounan, a third-grade teacher, said he didn't care whether the incentive was free pizza or a movie pass because the children were reaping more than those rewards.

"The children are reading more this year, and whatever makes the children read more is wonderful," he said. "We must use whatever tactics we can to psych children to read again."

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