Reading program kicks off Friday


Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.

A challenge to read has been issued to all children in elementary schools and some in middle schools in Alachua County.

Facts

READING PROGRAM

What: The 2011 Million Minutes of Reading program at elementary schools and some middle schools.

When: Friday-Sept. 23.

Where: Alachua County Public Schools.

Information: Visit www.aclib.us or contact your child’s school.

The Million Minutes of Reading program, formerly the Million Minutes of Reading Challenge, kicks off Friday and runs through Sept. 23. Participants will be recognized at the 23rd annual Family Literacy Festival to be held from 10 a.m.-noon, Oct. 8 at the Alachua County Headquarters Library.`

The program encourages children to record minutes spent reading, and for the younger children, minutes spent having books read to them.

In east Gainesville, all elementary schools will participate; however, Lincoln and Bishop middle schools will not.

At the literacy festival, Terri Hutchinson, literacy coordinator at the Alachua County Library District, said students who will participate in the reading program will receive certificates, with "Super Reader" ribbons awarded to students who read the most for their grade level at their school.

Last year, 982 students participated in the reading challenge.

Hutchinson said students are encouraged to read 15 minutes each day and parents of young students are encouraged to read to their children, too.

"Everything you read counts," said Hutchinson in a press release.

To participate, register online at www.aclib.us and click on the Million Minutes of Reading link, which will be available Friday. Students also will be able to log in their reading minutes, rank the reading material and include the title of the book and the author.

"Metcalfe Wildcats know there are limitless "pawsabilities" when they take the time to read." said Patricia Phillips, principal at Metcalfe.

Christiana Robbins, curriculum resource teacher at Metcalfe, said each teacher at the school will kick off the reading program with some type of activity in their classroom.

Diane Hill, principal at Lake Forest, said her students will participate in the reading program, with incentives provided to encourage children to read.

She said students at Lake Forest will have access to school computers to log their minutes.

There will be competitions between classrooms and individual students.

The top readers will be treated to lunch with the principal at a local restaurant.

Hill said Kendra Fields, media specialist at Lake Forest, will kick off the program Friday during the morning announcements.

"She will talk about the value of reading to encourage students," said Hill. She said Fields also will talk about books she has read and encourage students to check out books at the school library.

"Reading is fundamental," Hill said. "We need to keep our focus on reading."

Karla Hutchinson, curriculum resource teacher at Rawlings, said at her school, the reading program will be incorporated into daily homework assignments.

"It will be a big deal in the morning announcements," said Hutchinson. "The kids will talk about what they read."

In addition, during Thursday's open house, Hutchinson said parents will be informed about the reading program.

"We want to instill the joy of reading," said Hutchinson. "And how reading can take you away to far away places."

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