Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daniel Thompson

Mary Lynch Elementary class ranks in top 100 for national reading program


Daniel Thompson

Shown above is Carma Weisbrook’s fifth grade class, which ranked in the top 100 schools nationally in the Pizza Hut BOOK IT program. The class combined to read 143,760 minutes over a six-month span.

Carma Weisbrook’s fifth grade classroom at Mary Lynch Elementary has been ranked a Top 100 classroom in the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program.

The BOOK IT! Program is a sixth month reading program for elementary students that focuses on motivating children to read more and helping them develop a lifelong love of reading.

Weisbrook’s classroom logged 143,760 minutes of reading this past run of the program to place 65th on the Top 100 list. With over 14 million students in 680,000 classrooms across the country participating, The extent of this achievement is not lost on Weisbrook.

“I was surprised. It’s awesome. I’m excited. I had received an email that said something about how many children were involved in this, and I thought, ‘Wow, this really is a big deal,’” Weisbrook said.

The minutes for the program were tracked by the BOOK IT! Online Minute Tracker which was developed during the 2011-12 school year and is an interactive online tool used by teachers and their classrooms to keep track of the minutes students read during the course of the BOOK IT! Program.

“In the mornings, we would all line up, and we would record our minutes for the previous night.We set a goal for them that each of them was supposed to read 300 minutes a month and as they got older throughout the year we raised that to 350,” Weisbrook said.

When asked how her classroom was able to reach such an achievement, Weisbrook not only talked about their ability to read, but also simply stated that her class just consists of a great group of kids.

"I have a very good class too. That helps. I like them a lot," Weisbrook said.

Weisbrook isn't the only one beaming with pride at the fifth grade classroom's accomplishment. Shelly Morehead, BOOK IT Program Administrator, released a statement congratulating Wiesbrook's class.

"We are incredibly proud of the students at Mary Lynch Elementary for their exceptional commitment to reading with the BOOK IT! Program,” commented Morehead. “These students are going above and beyond. We’re fortunate to have such tremendous support from schools who are committed to make reading great.”


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