Summer Success

Temple Elementary Wraps Up Reading Challenge

Temple Elementary School students celebrated their hard work over the summer during their Summer Reading Challenge ceremony on Thursday. Many students received golden medals to showcase they accomplished their reading goals over the summer months. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

KENNEDY — The second annual Temple Elementary School Summer Reading Challenge increased the total number of participants in its second year. On Thursday, those who accomplished their reading goals received gold medals and were treated to an exclusive sundae celebration.

Reading Teachers Holly Brainard, Michele Buccola and Cindy Nutt organized this year’s challenge and follow up ceremony.Brainard and Buccola organized the original challenge in 2017 and were optimistic about expanding the program this year. The number of participants increased by 23 students. The total number participants was 84 students this year, up from 61 in 2017.

“We actually doubled our number of second graders this year,” Brainard said.

The summer challenge is given to more than 300 students in Temple. Brainard said the hope is to motivate more students each year that didn’t participate, to join the following year.

“We’re basically using the Summer Reading Challenge as a tool to keep kids reading over the summer and excited about reading,” she said.

Students look on during the Temple Elementary School ceremony.

Students in kindergarten, first and second grade all participated in varying amounts. Each student is asked to read four times a week in 10 minute sessions for at least eight out of the 10 weeks over the summer.

Brainard noted that many students over achieved by reading every day.

Students who did, entered the assembly on Thursday with gold medals draped around their necks. Additionally, those students who completed the challenge were put in a lottery to win prizes that included two bicycles.

Brainard said the ceremony, the sundae party and the medals are used as incentives to keep those who participated interested and entice new students to participate the following year.

“We realize it takes everyone working together to make these things happen,” Brainard said. “We would like to thank all of the parents who encouraged their children and helped them earn their reading medals. This program would not have been a success without their help.”