Wilton students in kindergarten through fifth grade are reading and rockin’ this week, as part of the schools’ participation in the second annual “Reading Rocks!” Read-a-Thon program, organized by the Wilton Education Foundation (WEF).
Students pledge to read a certain amount during a two week reading period, and ask family members and friends to sponsor them with donations that will benefit the Wilton schools. Last year 1,200 students participated in the program and raised more than $40,000 for the school district.
“The program’s goal is to encourage children to have fun reading. They’re not competing against anyone else; in fact, they’re challenged to find different ways to motivate themselves—to read independently, to read with an adult or to a sibling, or even read via Skype with a relative who lives far away,” explained Julie Steckel, the WEF chair of the Reading Rocks! program.
Steckel explained that the program was designed in cooperation with school administrators and literacy specialists to emphasize finding fun in reading. The reading students do for the program cannot include any homework reading assignments. In addition, students are allowed to “dress like a rock star” on Wednesday, Jan. 23, as an incentive.
That’s the same day pledge forms are due, according to Steckel. “Once the kids have gotten support from their friends and families, we want to kick off the program by getting them psyched to start. Judging by how many little punk rockers, Madonnas and Lady Gagas there were walking around the schools last year, we know they totally love taking part in Reading Rocks!”
The Cider Mill students—third, fourth and fifth graders—are vying for one homework-free day, and Miller-Driscoll students—in kindergarten, first and second grades—are hoping to win an extra recess, based on participation numbers. One student in each grade will win a Kindle E-reader as well.