Special evening builds excitment for reading
Once upon a time, students at Starside Elementary School did not like read.
Of course that has to be a tall tale after the showing of students who attended Starside’s annual READ Night Thursday.
READ Night, an annual event to kick-off the school’s reading incentive program, brings students and parents together to enjoy a plethora of reading activities from a book swap to flashlight reading.
Jodi Miller, Starside reading teacher, said the night is a way for students to be prepared for the reading incentive program.
The reading incentive program helps kids understand and read at home, Miller said.
“Research shows that reading outside of the classroom increases the understanding and level of reading,” she said.
The program challenges students to keep track of their reading and if the school as a whole reaches 1 million minutes they receive a prize.
“Well, it changes every year,” Miller said of the reward. “We have done several different things. Last year, Sonic sponsored a slush fest, where students from each classroom slushed the principal.”
There are also milestones throughout the year where students can earn books and bookmarks, Miller said.
Starside staff even joins in the competition to motivate students to keep reading.
Book swaps and book give-aways help students to keep on top of their reading, Miller said.
Thursday’s READ Night was partially sponsored by the Starside PTA, allowing for an expansion of festivities.
“This year the PTA asked if they could help us, so they have been very involved,” Miller said. “They helped organize and set up for the event.”
Activities included face painting and balloon animals in the cafeteria, a ring toss and book swap in the commons, flashlight reading and a fortune teller in classrooms.
“Reading is a Thrill” became the theme for the carnival-like night.
“It’s a celebration to get kids excited about reading,” Miller said. “It also gives the students minutes toward their reading incentive.”
Miller said the school purchased many of the books given away to students as a way to help the community. The book swap allows students to exchange gently used books for newer titles they haven’t read.
“It’s a great way for parents to get new titles and books without spending money,” she said.