“I am hoping to build a unified and widespread appreciation of the power of reading to change our students’ present and their future,” Superintendent of Schools Steven LePage said in a press release.
School officials explained that the goal of the challenge is to collectively increase student enjoyment of reading and build healthy habits that continue to grow over the years, while also reinforcing mathematics at the elementary school level.
Parents and guardians of elementary school students will be asked to support their children in completing a weekly reading and math log, noting having read at least 20 minutes read per day, names of books or stories reading and documenting five minutes of math practice.
At the secondary level, the goal is to emphasis reading for pleasure and the connection between reading ability and overall academic and lifelong success.
“Middle and high school students have a choice in selecting books for their respective library circulations, new book clubs are being formed, book talks will be scheduled, author visits are planned, and the high school is hoping to create a student based Library Advisory Group,” according to school officials.
One of the districts partners, the New Britain Herald, will sponsor a “read and feed” component to the challenge. District officials explained this could include donating one dollar to the purchase of non-perishable food items for the Plainville Community Food Pantry for every book read by secondary level students up to 1,600 books.
“We are happy to help promote reading skills at the earliest ages. We know programs like this will enable adults to have more options in their lives and create better citizens,” said Mike Schroeder, president, editor and publisher of the New Britain Herald.
Plainville Community Schools will be holding a book swap event on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Plainville High School cafeteria. In preparation for the event, students and families are being encouraged to bring in books that are in good condition to their respective schools to be exchanged for tickets, which can be exchanged for books during the event. All students will be able to attend and choose books, regardless of whether they have tickets.
“I am excited for this challenge and the potential that is has to reinforce a culture of readers who develop a real love of reading,” said LePage. “Our goal is to help students to continually improve. Through this challenge the hope is that students will independently read more, or be read to by a parent, guardian or loved one. Reading books of interest feeds a passion for reading that is an essential ingredient in success.”