Third grade students in Mrs. Cindy Smith’s homeroom at Adair County Elementary School are not letting a single moment of “Reading Madness” go to waste, reading in the hallway as they wait in line. Photo by Jennifer Kemp.
A new reading initiative at Adair County Elementary School has students tearing into books at every opportunity. “Reading Madness” started last Friday and will run for through April, pitting teams of students against one another in a bracket-style competition to earn Accelerated Reader points. Just one week in, the students have already scored, collectively, more than 2,170 AR points.
“It’s really taken off,” says ACES Principal Steve Burton. “Our kids are excited and they are reading.”
Students are now eligible to take AR tests 24 hours a day, seven days a week – all they need is an internet connection. Each grade boasts 32 teams, made up of six or seven students per team. The team that earns more points in a two-week, head-to-head matchup advances to take on another winning squad, but there are second-chance brackets to keep all teams motivated to keep reading.
“The goal is to get students reading, and then taking the AR tests takes it to another level as far as comprehension,” explains curriculum specialist Jennifer Kemp. “The kids came up with their own team names and collaborate with their teammates to set weekly goals, so it’s a good leadership exercise as well.”
Large prints of the brackets have been posted in the hallways of each respective grade for students to track the competition, and there are signs posted for students to recommend books for each other. “We’re trying to share that love of reading where it will be contagious,” Kemp says. “So far, it’s been great.”