New RIGS King of Reading crowned at K-Beach Elementary

Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2006


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  Rolling out the number of minutes read by RIGS participants at K-Beach Elementary this summer.

Jonathon Granger is crowned King of Reading at K-Beach Elementary.

The silver lining in all the cloudy weather this summer was rolled out last week when the results of the Reading Is Great in Summer (RIGS) program at K-Beach Elementary school was announced along with the crowning of a new King of Reading; his Highness Jonathon Granger. It was great weather for reading, and Jonathon now a sixth grader at K-Beach read just about every day totaling up 24,510 minutes over 408 hours during 43 days of summer reading, “I read a lot of science fiction while riding in the car back and forth to Anchorage. I set my goal to be the king of reading this year and I was pretty sure I had made it,” said the king after his official coronation by Principal Melissa Stavola.


Summer readers collect rewards and recognition at K-Beach Elementary.

Now in its sixth year RIGS is a summer reading incentive program created by three K-Beach Elementary teachers, Gloria Sweeney, Kristi Felchle, and Mary Beth Verhelst, "The three of us were doing our Masters program and came up with the idea of getting the kids motivated to read during the summer because we work very hard during the school year to increase their level of reading, then during their summer off, they regress and don't pick up where they left off in the spring, so we created RIGS as an incentive program to keep them reading during the summer," said Kristi Felchle.


K-Beach Elementary faculty displays RIGS shirts and recognition assembly.

When the kids at K-Beach left school for the summer, they were all invited to participate in the competition and take home with them a RIGS three month calendar to keep track of the minutes they read each day. "It’s a pretty big deal here, we give it a lot of hype and the T-shirts the kids earn really encourage the kids to participate. Our motto at school is become a RIGS kid, and the goal is 300 minutes each month to become one," said Gloria Sweeney. All students participating were recognized at an assembly last week and those students reading 900 minutes received a RIGS T-shirt complements of the Soldotna Rotary Club.


Rolling out the number of minutes read by RIGS participants at K-Beach Elementary this summer.

There is no book list or material requirements, "We only ask that they read and keep track of the minutes, it can be anything from cereal boxes to Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter," added Sweeney. The parents play a huge part in the program, "We have to congratulate the parents, they are a real partner in helping add up the minutes, and for some of the younger ones they need help, it has them doing math too on an almost daily basis, but parents are a great help and motivator, and every kid that reads is a winner." The RIGS score sheets have tips for parents to help their child become a better reader that include talking about what your child reads, getting a library card for your child and make visiting the library a family event, having your child read to others, and making sure your child owns their own books by encouraging relatives to give books as gifts. The purpose of the RIGS program is to keep kids reading during the summer, so their reading skills don't regress when they return to school in the fall, which according to educators is very common. Each participating student keeps a log and is asked to read at least 300 minutes a month which comes down to some 15 minutes a day, which Sweeney feels is enough to keep reading skills from regressing. “We have kept records and found that students return with higher test scores in September rather than taking several months to catch up on the summer regression time. We have tracked students that participated every year and found that indeed they have become some of our top students so we feel there is a definite correlation to the program,” added Sweeney.


Summer readers collect rewards and recognition at K-Beach Elementary.

A total of 389,623 minutes were read this summer by the 95 participating K-Beach students and 20 teachers.

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