Nikiski North Star celebrated Cosmic Book Challenge

Principal Margaret Gilman hands first-grader Regan Savly one of the Baby Baskets that staff and students put together to welcome the newest additions to the Nikiski North Star Elementary School community in this Feb. 24file photo. Nikiski North Star recently celebrated its students' summer reading accomplishments.

Over the summer students at Nikiski North Star Elementary participated in the NNS Cosmic Book Challenge. The challenge was created to encourage reading with goals for each student, parent, and staff member to read 1,200 minutes from June 1- Aug. 31. Top winners for each grade level were each awarded a gift card to River City Books, and each participating student was awarded an ice cream party.


Grade level top winners are: kindergarten, Dwight Sullenger; first grade, Sabella Christofferson; second grade, Aiden Quiner; third grade, Ethan Anding; fourth grade, Ethan Boehme; and fifth grade, Nolan Boehme. The overall winner with 5,520 minutes was Sabella Christofferson, with Nolan Boehme in second place. Both of the top readers have participated in this competition in the past, and both of their families are heavily involved.

Tricia Young, the interventionist for NNS, coordinated the challenge. Young has been with the school for over 9 years, and works with small math and reading groups. She assists students who are in need of extra attention in those subjects to help the students to succeed.

This was the 11th year that the school has put on the NNS Cosmic Book Challenge. They had a total of 34 student participants, and 2 staff members who are also parents involved this year.

“In the past we have had over 50-60 students, and hopefully if we are able to better promote the competition and encourage the students we can reach those numbers again next summer,” said Young.

The celebration at the beginning of the school year for each participating student was the first one for this event; in previous years students were awarded T-shirts. Young hopes that the students got more enjoyment out of getting to celebrate their accomplishment, and for the winners, the excitement of receiving recognition in front of all of their peers for their hard work.

“Our goal is to help keep the students reading levels up and encourage the students to read and spend time with their families by involving them in their reading time,” said Young. “The best part is that they do not have to read every day in order to accomplish this goal, and every student enjoyed getting rewarded for their hard work.”

Young hopes to keep the event similar to this years for next summer’s reading challenge, but with more involvement from both parents and staff members.

“I’m so proud to be a part of this program and working on this competition each year,” said Young. “I am so glad that I can celebrate reading with the kids and community and continue to help encourage families to read together.”

NNS will be hosting a Book Fair October 24-28, and encourages families to keep up to date on their Facebook page for upcoming events and student information.


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