Read To Succeed

Summer Reading Celebrated At Temple, Fenner Schools

Students K-2 gathered inside Temple Elementary to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge. Students who completed the challenge were given certificates and then were given a chance to win one of two donated bikes. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

Temple Elementary School celebrated reading achievements Friday morning with music, rewards and surprises.

The Summer Reading Challenge was created by reading teachers Holly Brainard and Michelle Buccola.

“We wanted to ensure (the students) were reading over the summer,” Buccola said, “so that they didn’t have summer regression. So, we tried to come up with a way to encourage them to read all summer.”

The first year of this program saw 60 students participate from the Kindergarten through third grade classes. Brainard and Buccola agreed the turnout was positive, considering this was the first year.

“We’re really happy with our turnout for the first time,” Brainard said.

The two were satisfied with the process, and both are optimistic next year’s turnout will be larger.

Summer Readers were treated with a sundae party after school on top of the festivities during the day. Brainard and Buccola also went over to the Fenner Elementary to reward former second graders who participated.

“Reading is really the heart of our school,” Principal Holly Hannon said. “Our goal is to have all of our students know how to read once they leave our school.”

Hannon described the larger scope of the program and how it excites students to read at home. Hannon described instances where students would incorporate family members into their summer reading and Hannon even provided school bus driver’s with books so that reading could be accomplished on the bus ride home.

“Its a whole community endeavor,” Hannon said.

For Hannon, when Brainard and Buccola approached her with the idea for Summer Readers, it was an easy decision to say yes. The Summer Readers Program will continue next year and teachers encouraged those kids who didn’t participate to join the excitement next year.

Brainard and Buccola recalled times over the summer when students would approach them and express their excitement and give an update on how many books the students had read.

“We’re hoping for more next year which is why we celebrated the way we did,” Brainard said. “We’re hoping the kids who didn’t do are on board and ready and excited for the next challenge that comes along.”

Brainard and Buccola are excited to expand on the new program and watch it grow. The duo were hopeful that the students who completed the Summer Reading Challenge were feeling on top of the world.