Summer Series: Scholastic Reading Challenge!


This summer we will feature some 2014 – 2015 school year highlights as well as some of the exciting things that Jenison Public Schools are doing throughout the summer!  Please join us each week to discover something new and celebrate a fantastic and exciting school year!

Reading is an essential skill for our students to master and if we’re lucky, they learn to love it as well!  This summer all Jenison Elementary Schools are participating in summer reading programs with Pinewood and Bauerwood taking on the Scholastic Reading Challenge.  Scholastic offers this nationwide challenge each summer to schools and students to log their reading minutes online and break the current record of 304,749,681 minutes!

Pinewood students set personal goals to learn the value of owning their own learning and this spring they worked to set their summer learning goals.  Principal Rachael Postle-Brown says, “These are goals that students are excited to work for and they understand the work they do this summer will pay off in the fall with their growth and achievement.  We want our students to have an amazing summer full of fun and adventure.  Reading can be a key piece to that fun and adventure.  Students can go anywhere in a book.  We also value our students time with their families and our focus is on 15 minutes of reading, 15 minutes of math, and 15 minutes of writing 5 times a week.  That may seem like a lot but its only 45 minutes a day, which leaves 8-10 hours for family fun, outdoor play, swimming, bike riding, exploring everyday!!!!  We believe that each of those activities are just as important.”

childrens-books“Research shows that students can experience a summer slide, which is a learning loss.  That summer slide could be up to a 22% loss of achievement. Students can prevent or reduce that summer loss with participating in daily reading and learning activities.” 

Last year Pinewood finished in the top 400 schools in the nation with half of the students participating.  This summer student at Pinewood have already logged more than 24,000 minutes!

As families look to incorporate reading into the busy and fun days of summer Ms Postle-Brown offers some encouragement both as a parent and an educator:  “As a principal my words of encouragement to families is to make reading fun! Find topics your student is interested in, take trips to the library or book store, read with your child, don’t look at this as a chore but instead make it a highlight of your day.

As a mom I’m looking for topics to enjoy that both I and my daughters will enjoy.  I have also set the expectation that our 15 minutes of reading, 15 minutes of math, and 15 minutes of writing will happen before anything else; before television, before video games, before swimming, before bike riding.  We set our timer we do our activities and then it’s done for the day.  Every family and situation is different so find a schedule or expectation that works for you and stick with it.”
Check the status of Pinewood and Bauerwood schools on the Scholastic website and if you haven’t do so already, you can register your student here!

Happy reading!


*photo courtesy of

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