Sunday, May 14, 2006
Today was our Third Annual AR (Accelerated Reader) T-Shirt Day. It is all great fun- total chaos with kids running to and fro – a total school wide celebration of reading. It is the reading equivalent of winning the state championship in football.
It takes either 50 or 100 points to earn the shirt – which means reading at least 100 books. Those books are really read, since the AR test has to be passed to earn the points.
This year 95 children reached that particular milestone – about 1/5 of our student body.
We started the day by slapping stickers on every T-shirt we saw. Every hour a faculty member got on the intercom and invited everyone wearing a shirt to come to their office for a treat or trinket. The kids “power walked “ – running was frowned on- from one end of the school to the other. Random pieces of candy dropped into their hands, not mention pencils, bookmarks and Hot Cheetoes. The kids giggled, laughed and thoroughly celebrated their accomplishment.
AR is not without controversy, but when it comes to motivating the low SES / ESL student, it is one of the best programs out there. Those sorts of children need the immediate positive reinforcement that AR provides. Our reading scores are rock solid – we always score in the 90% or better and our book circulation has soared.
One second grader summed it up “Today was the best day of school ever.”