Their goal: read, read, read


Alice Ann Ferguson, far left, and students in her third-grade class at Talbot Elementary School, show off some of the books they read as part of a project. Students challenged themselves to read 665 books, but managed to surpass that goal, actually reading 720 books. One student who participated in the project no longer attends Talbot.

KRISTEN HINES/Special to The Sun
Published: Monday, January 10, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 9, 2005 at 9:15 p.m.
Alice Ann Ferguson, far left, and students in her third-grade class at Talbot Elementary School, show off some of the books they read as part of a project. The class challenged themselves to read 665 books, but managed to surpass that goal, actually reading 720 books. One student who participated in the project no longer attends Talbot.
Sometimes, great ideas can come from reading newspapers.
That was how Alice Ann Ferguson, a teacher at Talbot Elementary School, got the idea for a reading project for the 19 students in her third-grade class.
Ferguson, a native of the Pensacola/Gulf Breeze area, was reading her hometown newspaper, the Pensacola News Journal, when she stumbled across an article about a third-grade class in Pensacola that read more than 3,000 books in one school year.
When school resumed this year, Ferguson challenged her class to do the same. During the first week of classes, the students, along with Ferguson, set a goal of reading 665 books by winter break, which began Dec. 20.
Not only did the students reach their goal, they surpassed it by reading 720 books.
"I am so proud of them," said Ferguson, adding that all of the students in the class took part, with some children reading more than their share of books.
One of her students even read more than 110 books.
The students chose their own books and also did all of the extra reading at home. Parents kept track of their kids' reading progress and shared the information with Ferguson.
The class read everything from books in the Junie B. Jones series to the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events.
According to Ferguson, the Harry Potter books also were popular among the children.
The class will continue the reading project until the end of the school year, but Ferguson and her students have yet to set a new goal.
As a reward for meeting their first reading goal, Ferguson is planning a party for the class, and each student will receive a new book.

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