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Fenner Elementary Students Complete Summer Reading Challenge

Holly Brainard, an AIS reading teacher at Harvey C. Fenner Elementary School in Falconer congratulates students for completing the Summer Reading Challenge. P-J Photo by Michael Zabrodsky

FALCONER — For most students, summer vacation is well-deserved time off from school.

Not for students at the Harvey C. Fenner Elementary School. They were on a quest to read books. And if they read enough books during the months of July and August, their names were entered into a Summer Reading Challenge to win some prizes including a boys bike and a girls bike donated by The Post-Journal.

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The students, on Sept. 30, entered the gym and quietly sat on the floor as Holly Brainard, an AIS teacher at the school, congratulated them for completing the challenge. When winners of the bikes were drawn and announced, with smiles on their faces, students screamed with delight. When they heard their name announced, winners walked up to claim their prize.

“To win a bicycle you had to complete the challenge which meant that you had to read a minimum of 20 days each month and at least 15 minutes on each of those 20 days,” Brainard said.

The girls bike winner was fourth-grader Avery Yagger, and sixth-grader Carter Smith, won the boys bike.

“Our Summer Reading Challenge is presented every year at a kick off assembly, during the last week of school. It is offered to all Fenner students, including those who will be heading off to sixth grade and those entering Fenner for third grade in the fall. Each year we have a theme. This year’s theme was ‘Get Hooked on Books.’ The purpose of the program is to get students motivated and excited about reading consistently over the summer. Students who take part in the challenge are able to maintain their reading skills and return to school ready to build on them in the new school year. Students participate by reading for at least 15 minutes a day on at least 20 days each month for July and August,” Brainard said.

Brainard explained that at the beginning of the school year, the students return their reading calendars to show that they have earned “reading champion” status. Near the end of September, there is a celebration with a an assembly where reading champions are recognized and rewarded with certificates, medals, a treat, a small surprise (this year it was a fish keychain), and lots of chances to win bigger prizes.

“We have been very fortunate to be able to give away two brand new bikes and helmets each year, donated by The Post-Journal. This year we also drew names to give away two giant fish pillows and several fishing kits,” Brainard said.

Following the assembly, she said, students headed outside for a special outdoor activity. This year, the students played kickball and launched water balloons at the school’s principal, Gary Gilbert.

Here is a list of the champions:

Grade 3

Jazelle Churnac, Nolan Conti, Keegan Collins, Alan Crissinger, Susann Gustafson, Alyse Cobbe, Kyle Dilker, Aurora Light, Nico Lynch, Aiden Rhinehart, Zack VandeVelde, and Audrianna Spinler.

Grade 4

Teddy Anderson, Ryder Dascomb Huxley Hale, Claire Thompson, Lauren Youngberg, Kemyah Francis, Meleeigha Henly, David Swanson, Molly Thompson, Connor Becker, Ian Chapman, Shawn Dilker, Waylin Goodwin, Iris Rose Donnell, Faith Roberts, James Bellinger, Collin Claydon, Jensen Lindstrom, and Isabella Smith.

Grade 5

Jenna Bellinger, Maleiah Blount, Maggie Drake, Matthius Allen, Nick Cybart, Katelyn Hosmer, A.J. Stewart, Mae Gustafson, and Everly Saunders.

Grade 6

Laine Carpenter, Moya Collins, Addison Diate, Liam Griffith, Makala Haley, Korry Moore, Maddie Ohman, Katie Seice, Drew Staples-Fredrick, ELisa Vazquez, and Laren Yagger.

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