UNION — The students of Foster Park Elementary School and their parents were challenged at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year to read a million minutes at home over the course of the year and that’s just what they did.
Thursday, May 24 was “Celebration Day” at Foster Park Elementary School, a day-long celebration of the school’s students reading, together with their parents, more than a million minutes over the course of the school year.
“We challenged our students and their parents to read a million minutes at home,” FPES Principal Ott Sizemore said Wednesday. “We started as soon as we got back to school in August. We sent a letter home to parents asking them to support us.”
Sizemore said that students and their parents were free to choose the materials the students read at home or, in the case of the younger students, their parents read to them. He said the students’ teachers kept a running log of the minutes read.
As an incentive, Sizemore said that any child who read 30 minutes a day and 900 minutes a month won membership in the “30-30 Club” and received a certificate recognizing their achievement. He said approximately 70 students won membership in the 30-30 Club.
The challenge, which was issued at the beginning of the school year, came to an end on Tuesday, May 15 when the students and their parents not only met but exceeded the goal.
“We ended up with 1,000,115 minutes,” Sizemore said.
As a result, the students and their parents won “Celebration Day,” a day of music, dance, sports, and other kinds of fun including snow cones.
“We had a slide and every child and parent had a free snow cone, we served 600 snow cones that day,” Sizemore said. “Every class got to go to a dance and play a kickball game. There was a 40-minute recess. The celebration went on all day.”
Sizemore said the One Million Minutes of Reading challenge was part of the school’s emphasis on literacy.
“We’re proud of what our students and parents have accomplished because reading is the key to learning and we’ve really pushed literacy this year,” Sizemore said.