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Draper Journal

Channing Hall Holds ‘Read Wars’

Mar 09, 2016 11:01AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Draper - Channing Hall kindergartners through fifth-graders spent 461,806 minutes reading over a three-week period in January.

It was part of the school’s “Read Wars,” which is a reading incentive to have students improve their reading skills as well as enjoy reading, said organizer Heather Fehrenbach.

“We used to participate in the Jazz Reading Incentive, but with our school having a break for a week in February, during their read-a-thon, it didn’t work as well as we liked, so we modeled our program after it and hold it in January,” she said.

During the “Read Wars,” students may have been greeted by a Storm Trooper at the carpool drop-off lane, or they could have been part of one of the organized programs which featured Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Chewbacca as well as the storm troopers.

For example, Fehrenbach said they had a “Read with a Storm Trooper” after-school program one day and another, they had a read-off between the dark and light or Jedi sides, featuring costumed middle-schoolers. “Star Wars” books were given to good listeners, Fehrenbach said.

“We’d have six or seven books that had a darker theme or evil character versus those that didn’t and students listening to the books that were read out loud, would decide which one they liked better,” she said. “There were lots of cheers for the dark side.”

The reading program, which ran from Jan. 6 through Jan. 27, had students tally the minutes they read or were read to outside of school. They also could listen to an audio book. 

Fehrenbach said teachers encouraged students to participate, and each week, they showed videos in classrooms to promote reading and recording their time spent reading.

Each grade had a goal per week of how many minutes they should read, Fehrenbach said.

For kindergartners and first-graders, they needed 245 minutes of reading each week. Second-and third-graders’ goal was 315 minutes and fourth-and fifth-graders were to read 385 minutes.

One fourth-grade class had seven students who read more than 1,100 minutes one week, Fehrenbach said.

Students who met their goal the first time were named Jedis. The second time, they became a Trainee and third week, a Padawan or knight. Each time they met their goal, they were awarded a bracelet, as well as at the two after-school reading activities.

“Currently, we have 20 students on track to earn all five bracelets,” she said during the competition.

There was also a drawing for the classes who met their weekly goal — a Jedi training session from Aerobotics Gym in Draper — which Matthew Hoecherl’s morning kindergarten class won.

More important, Fehrenbach said, was the improvement they have seen in students’ reading progress. 

“We already had five kindergartners move up one-to-two reading levels,” she said.

Teachers gave awards to students who showed the most improvement and met the goal. Top readers in each class also were celebrated.

Those most improved readers include Emma Housenick, Harper Adams, Zachary Stirling, Isabella Witte, Zac Boggess, Sam Fiuza, Anthony Keller, Jesse Hillesheim, Jay Barosso, Garrett Ryser, Natalia Mendoza, River Jones, Sawyer Johnson, Emily Moss, Kaden Roberts, Evan Bradfield, Phebe Balfe and Tyler Moffet.

The top readers who were honored include Ashlyn Covington, Savannah Affleck, Sylvia Miller, Caden Park, Ryder Farnsworth, Clara Cannon, Canyon Bullock, Ashleigh Pester, Kaden Affleck, Adi Mahasenan, Milo Muhlestein, Simon Aina, Leah Cannon, Brighton Farnsworth, Paityn Burns, Rylie Whatcott, Aiden Worthley and Brayden Belnap.