By Heather Lusk
To say that the students at Traders Point Christian Academy read a lot this summer is an understatement.
They read so much that they logged more minutes reading than any other school in Indiana, as tracked by the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.
“For a school our size it really is an achievement,” said Beth Kerr, the school’s media specialist, to the school’s students. “It’s an achievement that you should not forget.”
On Oct. 26 Indiana’s first lady Karen Pence honored the school with a “Best in State” plaque recognizing their achievement of reading 267,586 minutes during the summer of 2015.
A total of 1,401,239 children from 28 countries participated in the program, logging 286,611,349 minutes this summer. One hundred and forty TCPA students in first through seventh grade chose to participate, which is just below half of those eligible.
Pence, a former teacher, encouraged the children to read to prevent “summer slide.”
“Research shows that if they’re not keeping their mind engaged they have to catch up (when school resumes),” Pence said.
She gave the students suggestions of some of her favorite books – Harriet the Spy, The Trumpet of the Swan and Rascal – and encouraged them to continue reading for fun.
“When you read a book, tell your friends about it,” she said.
This is the second consecutive year that TCPA students were the top school in Indiana. Last year they logged roughly 50,000 fewer minutes but ranked first in their initial year of the program. Scholastic has coordinated the Summer Reading Challenge for nine years.
In May Pence visited the school to encourage summer reading and to present the students with 500 books on behalf of Scholastic, which donates books to the First Lady in each state to present to a school selected as the ambassador for the program.
“Every student was able to take home at least one brand new book to keep,” Kerr said.
Herr, who coordinated the event, thanked Pence for her support.
“I can’t express the level of excitement to receive an encouragement note during the summer.”
“You did your part,” said Pence to the students. “I’m really proud of you. Well done.”