Hard work and dedication does pay off as 21 Centertown Elementary students recently found out. The students were rewarded for reading millions of words throughout the school year for the school’s Accelerated Reader program. They were admitted as the first members of the school’s Million-AR Club.
The Million-AR Club was established for readers in grades K-2 who read one-half million words, students in grades 3-5 who read 1 million words, and grades 6-8 who read at least 2 million words throughout the school year.
Eighth-grader Victoria Jones was top reader for the school with over 6 million words.
Fifth-grader Westen Wilson said he made it a goal to have the most AR points and most words read in his grade. He reached his goal as he was the top reader in his category, reading over 2 million words.
“I like to read. My favorite books are long chapter books like ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Harry Potter,’” said Wilson.
The top reader in the K-2 category was second-grader Erik Espinoza who read over 700,000 words.
As a special celebration of their accomplishments, the students were bused to Billy’s Restaurant for an end-of-the-year celebration. Warren County Lions Club made it possible for students to have lunch and dessert along with a few surprises.
Students were given T-shirts with “I’m a member of the Million-AR Club at Centertown School” on the front. Tables at Billy’s were decorated with tablecloths, dollar signs and gold star balloons.
Each student received a state quarter collectors set donated by Security Federal, necklaces which sported dollar signs and treat boxes filled with items pertaining to money such a “gold” candy coins, a 100 Grand candy bars and Buffalo head nickels.
Centertown librarian Kreta Slatton said, “We gave them Buffalo head nickels and their Million-AR shirts have the Buffalo nickel on them because they are the Centertown Warriors. This is the first time we have done something like this. We have offered incentives throughout the year including lunches such as a taco bar, pizza and a cookout held at school. The students have also received soft drink rewards and candy bars throughout the year for reaching reading goals. We did anything we could think of to make them feel special.”
Principal Pam Cowan said, “The Warren County Lions Club has been a wonderful partner in education for us. This has been a wonderful surprise for us. Mrs. Regina Woodlee, our reading interventionist and Mrs. Kreta Slatton have really promoted reading this year. I know it will reflect when TCAP scores come back. It has already reflected in assessments. Kids are waiting at the library door for Mrs. Slatton when she opens each day.”
Woodlee said Centertown School has invested in new signs promoting reading.
“The signs say, ‘Read with your child. It’s the most important 20 minutes of your day.’ We want to encourage parents to read with their children at least 20 minutes every day. Those 20 minutes can make a huge difference in a child’s life,” said Woodlee.
According to the Children’s Reading Foundation website, “Children whose parents read with them learn to read early and well. Children who read succeed, in school and in life.”
Warren County Lions Club, Cherry Springs Nursery, Security Federal and Billy’s Restaurant serve as partners in education with Centertown School.
“We want to thank all of our partners in education for making this possible, especially the Warren County Lions Club. They also provided books for our pre-K and kindergarten graduates,” said Slatton.