Looking Back, April 15 1999
Looking Back, April 15 1999: Reading partners honored
The program is called World Book Partners in Excellence, the participants were book reading George Elementary students, and together they are bringing $2,600 in new books and computer software to their school.
George Elementary students read more than 3,000 books in seven weeks. The goal of each student was to earn a gold medal for reading at least ten books and getting at least ten sponsors.
When the totals were tallied, the students had collected more than $2,060 in pledges; with 42 students earning gold medals. Another 33 silver medals were awarded to children who collected pledges, and World Book matched the pledges with a 25 percent donation.
The top winners were Allie Kiehn, Francisco Tafoya, and Heidi Thaemert. Kiehn, a kindergartener, read 52 books, the most books in the kindergarten through second-grade level. Tafoya read 172 books, the most books in the third- to fifth-grade level, and Thaemert collected the most pledges of any student in the school, with $212.
Every student who joined in the effort received a certificate of participation at a George assembly on April 2.
The top three winners will each receive a book from World Books. The names of the participants will also be stamped on the inside of every book given to the school, to let future students know who put those books on the library shelves.
But George teachers say many of the program’s rewards went beyond books and medals.
“I have to tell you that when I came in halfway through this year, I had a lot of teachers come and tell me that they had seen improvement in the children’s grades,” program coordinator Camille Howe told parents and teachers at the awards assembly. “So reading is the key, that’s for sure.”