Carmel’s Reach for the Stars students read more than 160,000 minutes during annual read-a-thon


The students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel recently completed a read-a-thon program called “Reach for the Stars” sponsored by Usborne Books & More.  The students were challenged to read at least 300 minutes over a two-week time period. There were 234 students who participated in this program, and they read a total of 166,166 minutes.  That’s an average of almost 710 minutes per student, which is more than double the minutes required.

The students also collected pledges from sponsors to support their reading, and 100 percent of the money collected was given back in books! The school used 25 percent of the money collected as a service project to help build the library at St. Ambrose Catholic School in Anderson, and St. Ambrose received over $2,500 in new books for their library! Each student selected new books with half of the money they collected, and 25% was used for new books for Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s library. There was no cost to the school, and Usborne Books & More added an additional 10% of the total collected in new books!

Students who read over 1,000 minutes in 2 weeks were given special recognition as “Star Readers,” and they were:

1st Grade – George Hein,  Lily Power, and Alex Preston.

2nd Grade – Owen Ashley,  Grayson Baker, Adam Balcer, Gus Dorsel, Mallory Knott, Joey Kunkel, Carson Mace, Luke Moster, Elias Niccum, Colin Payne, Christian Sosa, Lydia Sullenberger, Connor Sweeney, Thomas Van Woerkom, and Sam Woodward.

3rd Grade – Sophia Brown, Clara Fletcher, Jacob Hein, Ava Kinney, Ella Kuykendall, Robert Nies, Mackenzie Sheldon, Alex Soucie, Kathryn Tiplick, and Ian Wolf.

4th Grade – Ally Downey, Hannah Fletcher, Elisabeth Green, Olivia Kinney (not pictured), Grace Schiller, Christina Swidan, Olivia Van Dyke, and Patrick Wolf.

5th Grade – Dylan Balcer, Peter Bedford, Sarah Bushue, Anne Conway, Alex Gardner (not pictured), AJ Greven, Tommy Hartman, Olivia Kunkel, Matthew McIllvenna, Celeste Morow, Danielle St. Louis, Ellie Sullenberger, and Grace Sullivan.

6th Grade – Christian Hein (not pictured), Aidan Legg (not pictured), Claire Rancourt (not pictured), and Caroline Seaman (not pictured).

7th Grade – Daniel Cloran, Lizzy DiBlasio, Faith Goodin, and Megan Kaster.

8th Grade – Michael Legg, Duncan McGraw, and Joseph Miller.

Medals were awarded to the Top 3 Readers:

Tommy Hartman – 4,718 minutes

Ella Kuyendall – 4,120 minutes

Hannah Fletcher – 2,865 minutes

Medals were also awarded to the Top 3 Collectors:

Landon McHaffie

Anne DeBone

Matthew McIllvenna

Great job to the students of Our Lady of Mount Carmel!  We are proud of you!  Keep reading!

For more information about the “Reach for the Stars” program for your school or organization, please contact Jan Thayer at 317-412-4237 or

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