Reading puts a spin on holidays for two lucky CHMS students

Published 6:23 am Friday, December 16, 2011

Reading opens the door to the world.

And, with a little luck, reading puts a little spin on things.

That’s exactly what happened for a couple of Accelerated Reader (AR) students at Charles Henderson Middle School Thursday.

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Tatytana Lee and Stanley Sheffield were the winners of the semester-long AR incentive program and were spinning the wheels of new bicycles.

Carla Rice, CHMS librarian, said the bicycles were donated to the school as incentives for the AR program.

“All of the students who had high comprehension ratings in the AR program during the first semester had their names placed in a bowl,” Rice said. “On Thursday, we drew a boy’s name and a girl’s name as winners of the bicycles.”

The bicycle incentives did what was expected. The students read more and found that reading is fun.

“Reading is fun and it is important to everything that we do,” she said. “We look for ways to encourage our students to read more. And, anything that we can do to encourage them is worth doing.”

The bicycles were placed on a shelf in the library as both a reminder of the prizes to be won and as an incentive to keep reading.

Jennifer Mayotte, CHMS seventh and eighth grade reading teacher, said students sometimes have to be nudged into reading.

“The AR program motivates students to read by allowing them to choose books on subjects of interest to them,” she said. “Reading is so important and books have to compete with movies and videos for the attention of young people.

“Sometimes students are reluctant to read because they think they will enjoy movies and videos better,” Mayotte said. “And, too, reading takes more effort.

But some students said they would rather read a book than watch a movie about the same subject.

“I like reading because there’s more to a book than there is to a movie,” Curtis Thomas said.

“The pictures that you make in your head are better than the ones in the movie,” Lakajia Williams said. “I’d rather read.”

Mayotte said CHMS teachers are always alert to other reading incentives for the students.

“Troy University gave tickets to a Trojan football game to all the students who scored 100 on an AR test,” she said. “Eighty-six students got tickets.”

Tammy Pettis, sixth grade reading teacher, said the goal of the AR program is to generate interest in reading among the students because reading increases vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. “When a student is interested in reading, he or she will probably read as a hobby,” she said.