Each summer, Dr. William Gordon challenges Coventry elementary school students to read as many books as they can during vacation. When school begins in the fall, students return their summer reading logs to be tallied. Dr. Gordon then awards $1,000 to the the school with the most books read to go towards the purchase of new reading material.
For the fourth consecutive year, Western Coventry Elementary's 378 students earned their school a check from Dr. Gordon by reading a total of 3,728 books. This year, they split the prize with Fr. John V. Doyle School, whose students also did an impressive amount of reading during their summer vacation.
Dr. Gordon visited Western Coventry Friday morning to present the award and congratulate the students who each received a certificate of their achievement.
"I'm always taken aback by the number of books you've read," he told the students. "You guys are a dynasty like the Patriots! Hopefully you had fun doing it, too."
The prize money will be used to enhance the school's guided reading library, consisting of book collections used for group reading in all grade levels.
"Reading a lot of books strengthens the students' reading skills as well as their vocabulary and background knowledge," said Reading Specialist Karen Guilmette. "These are all skills that will help them as they continue through higher grades."
Not only does the contest help raise money for the winning school to purchase new books, but it also gives students a goal to achieve and something fun to do with their parents during their summer vacation. It also keeps their minds active and ready for new information come the new school year.
"Practice, practice, practice is what is going to help you become a better reader," Principal Amy Anzalone told her students Friday morning. "I challenge everyone in this room to be a summer reader next year!"
In addition to his $500 donation, Dr. Gordon also awarded Ms. Janine Carcieri's second grade class with a pizza party for reading the most books, a total of 597. The student with the top number from each grade also earned a school store gift certificate.
This year's top readers were:
- Kindergarten - Jack Lawrence (117 books)
- 1st Grade - Caeden Morency (110 books)
- 2nd Grade - Scott Morgan (198 books) (most books read in entire school)
- 3rd Grade - Ben Carrigan (122 books)
- 4th Grade - Tiara Rochon (108 books)
- 5th Grade - Lena Lukowicz (68 books)
"We're so proud of all of you," said Guilmette to students at the end of the assembly.