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Students celebrate reading at School of Discovery

The SOD Cheer & Tumble Team performs during the kickoff to reading rally.  The rally is to encourage the kids to read using the program Accelerated Reader. --Alaina Denean

The SOD Cheer & Tumble Team performs during the kickoff to reading rally. The rally is to encourage the kids to read using the program Accelerated Reader. –Alaina Denean

By Alaina Denean

The Selma Times-Journal

Students gathered Friday for a reading rally at the School of Discovery. The theme of the rally as well as the Accelerated Reader program this year is “Be an AR Reader.”

“Even though our accelerated reader program has already started, this event is going to be our official event kickoff,” said Nichole Long, the librarian at School of Discovery. “It’s a motivational pep rally — it’s supposed to be a reading event filled with joy teaching [students] how to learn to love to read and the necessity of learning how to read.”

The Accelerated Reader program is designed to assess a student’s reading ability. After reading a book, students take a quiz that helps gauge their reading comprehension.

The number of books to be read by each student is determined by their English and Reading teachers.

“Each English and Reading teacher sets individual goals for his or her classes,” Long said. “At the end of each nine weeks, when [students] meet or exceed their teachers reading goals, they get rewarded with an AR ice cream party.”

The students will also be rewarded by being recognized in the morning announcements, and getting their name on the AR score board in the library.

According to Long, other incentives are things like tote bags, stickers, bookmarks, pencils, erasers and other prizes.

Long, who has been the librarian for four years, said rewarding students help keep them excited and dedicated to the program.

“I’m very excited,” Long said about the rally. “As a librarian, I’m always pleased to know that the children enjoy reading, that they can read at a high level and that they can read and achieve and meet their teacher’s goals.”

The rally was opened with kick-off cheers from the SOD Cheer & Tumble Team to get the students riled up.

The guest speaker Arthur Capers told the students about his experience learning to read and expressed the importance of reading.

“You really can’t do anything in life without learning how to read,” Long said. “Not only do we want you to learn how to read and to read well, we want you to love to learn how to read.”