Alf Cuthbert school gets ready for I Love to Read Month
Students at Alf Cuthbert School in Moosehorn read more than 56,000 minutes collectively last February, and this year they hope to break that record. I Love to Read Month is a provincial initiative that encourages reading and writing in all forms in February of each year. At Alf Cuthbert School, students are encouraged to tally their reading minutes to reach certain goals selected by principal Alann Fraser. Last year, the goals were 15,000 minutes, which earned students an extra gym class; 30,000 minutes, which earned students a movie and popcorn day; and 50,000 minutes, which meant that Fraser dressed up like a chicken and ate crickets. Students tally their reading minutes at home, as well, and Fraser encourages parents to take an active role in the students reading at home. “Students at our school are readers so we have to set that bar pretty high for it to be a challenge,” said Fraser, who added that the goals for minutes read will be at the same levels this year. “Last year, we had to raise our goals because it was too easy for them. The benefi t from this is that students just keep practising reading and become better at it. There’s really no downside to this at all.” Fraser said that she is willing to do something embarrassing if it means her students are going to continue to read and become more literate. The rewards for the goals this year haven’t been decided yet, but Fraser said that she is still taking suggestions from the students. And aside from cutting her hair and putting on a dress, she’s willing to do almost anything. Students seem to appreciate her willingness to participate, and parents are interested as well. Fraser said that last year she was stopped on the street often by parents asking her if she had eaten the crickets yet. “It’s starting a dialogue outside of class, and parents know what’s on the line when their child comes home and wants to read. I really think the reason we have such good readers at our school is because our parents foster that love of reading in them at a young age,” said Fraser. Reading is a skill that takes a while to develop but one that grows exponentially with regular practice. Fraser said her students are reading approximately 20 minutes a day each on average for the month to reach a goal of 50,000. And she said that if the trend continues, she’ll likely have to come up with even higher milestones next year, as students are likely going to hit that goal with ease this year.
~Express Weekly News, Thursday, January 26, 2017
By: Jef Ward