Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Sen. Peter Micciche sat with the winners during lunch and asked them if they would continue reading over the summer, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Sen. Peter Micciche sat with the winners during lunch and asked them if they would continue reading over the summer, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Soldotna Elementary School improves reading levels

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Sunday, May 18, 2014 6:57pm
  • NewsSchools

Trent Boots walked straight to the fiction section directly beneath the inflated solar system hanging from the ceiling.

“The Penderwicks at Point Mouette” by Jeanne Birdsall is Boot’s favorite book. He’s memorized exactly where the series is organized in the Soldotna Elementary School library.

“I’ve really liked reading,” Boots said. “It lets you explore a new place and you don’t even need to get an airplane.”

Boots said the major reason he started reading so much was so he could ride in a fire truck at the end of the year.

Boots is one of the eight students that won the Reading Counts awards this spring and was rewarded on May 9. Librarian Debbie Adamson introduced the national program at Soldotna Elementary four years ago.

Adamson coordinated with the Soldotna Fire Department who now volunteers rides for the year’s winners, to come up with a way to reward the students for reading more.

Rilee Erickson would come into get a new book up to twice a day Adamson said. She would often find herself asking, “Rilee weren’t you just here?”

After a student reads a book, she or he will take a Reading Counts quiz. Their name is entered into a drawing for the chance to ride the fire truck each time they pass.

Boots reads red dot books, which is the most advanced reading level, higher than blue and yellow dots. Each book read is also worth a number of points dependent on its level of difficulty.

Josh Pieh received the Principal’s Award for having the most points in the school. A tarnished paw-shaped medal hung from his neck, clanging against the circular one he and his fellow winners received.

“My favorite series is ‘Ranger’s Apprentice,’” Pieh said.

“Mine’s between ‘The Maze Runner’ and ‘Ranger’s Apprentice,’” Colton Sorhus said.

“Well, should I order them?” Adamson said, and walked over to the desk at the front of the library to write it down.

Adamson said more than 55,000 books have Reading Counts quizzes, so students have many choices outside of the school. The second and third grade students now have 100 percent involvement in the program.

The program doesn’t only help students improve their reading skills, but writing as well, which affects other areas of study, Adamson said.

“It helped my writing and spelling,” Boots said. “I read the words and they get caught in my brain and I can spell more.”

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, handed medals to each of the students. Misty Gardiner said her favorite book “Stay out of the Basement” was part of the “Goosebumps” series by R.L. Stine.

Gardiner said her favorite books had big plot twists and surprises. She said she was taken aback but excited she won.

Adamson said the program is set up so even slower readers have the same chance as faster ones. Each teacher develops unique plans for each individual student.

“It brings such meaning to life to see the students become fabulous members of society and such fabulous adults,” Adamson said. She had also prepared a pizza lunch for the students in the library.

Sitting around a child-sized round table between shelves filled with books, Micciche asked the winners how they would be spending their summer.

Among the answers were fishing and reading.

 

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Rilee Erickson and Andi Hiler enjoy the lunch provided for the winners of this year's Reading Counts program, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary school.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Rilee Erickson and Andi Hiler enjoy the lunch provided for the winners of this year’s Reading Counts program, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary school.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Debbie Adamson bought bags of books for each of the winners of this year's Reading Counts program, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Debbie Adamson bought bags of books for each of the winners of this year’s Reading Counts program, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Josh Pieh won the principles award this year for recieving the most reading points over the course of the year, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Josh Pieh won the principles award this year for recieving the most reading points over the course of the year, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Debbie Adamson still has a few decorations up in the school library, although it is nearing the end of the school year, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Debbie Adamson still has a few decorations up in the school library, although it is nearing the end of the school year, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Debbie Adamson still has a few decorations up in the school library, although it is nearing the end of the school year, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Peninsula Clarion Debbie Adamson still has a few decorations up in the school library, although it is nearing the end of the school year, Friday, May 9, at Soldotna Elementary School.

More in News

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. COVID-19 vaccines for kids younger than 5 years old are now approved by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
COVID shots for kids under 5 available at public health

Roughly 18 million kids nationwide will now be eligible to get their COVID vaccines.

Megan Mitchell, left, and Nick McCoy protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning of Roe v. Wade at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Heartbroken’, ‘Betrayed’: Alaskans react to Roe decision

Supreme Court decision ends nearly 50 years of legally protected access to abortion

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)
Alaskans react to Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion.

Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/ Mark Thiessen)
Lawsuit says Sweeney should advance in Alaska US House race

The lawsuit says the fifth-place finisher in the special primary, Republican Tara Sweeney, should be put on the August special election ballot

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska AFL-CIO endorses Walker, Murkowski, Peltola

The AFL-CIO is Alaska’s largest labor organization and has historically been one of its most powerful political groups

A portion of a draft letter from Jeffrey Clark is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Federal agents search Trump-era official’s home, subpoena GOP leaders

Authorities on Wednesday searched the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark

Most Read