New Reading Program Creates Enthusiasm

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va -- Third graders at Ottobine Elementary are learning about reading in a new way. A new program called 'Readers' Choice' lets them choose which books they want to read. Students say they like it since they all have their own favorites.

These were some of the responses a WHSV reporter received when she asked the students about their favorite books.

"Geronimo Stilton and Arthur. It's an Arthur book, 'I Miss My Blankie,'” said Samantha Lambert.

"I usually read a bunch of Little Bear, or Biscuit or Frog and Toad," said Harley Hedgick.

"A bunch of magic books and this is a magic book, the blue one,” said Gabriel Robinson.

The librarian at Ottobine Elementary School said letting kids choose what they want to read gets them to read even more, and that is better for creating interest in reading.

"It seems like in the past, they've gotten like down in the dumps, like 'I don't want to read, reading's not fun,' or whatever, so we decided that we would give them a choice," said Beth Yelverton, the librarian.

She said giving students a choice has made all the difference.

"It just warms my heart to know that they will sit down to say, 'I can't wait to tell you about this book, Ms. Yelverton. I'm so excited about this story that I've just read,' so it's been amazing."

Students not only enjoy what they are reading now. They are also learning more as they go.

"You learn new words and what's so cool about Geronimo Stilton is in new words. They always write it with crayon and with color," said Samantha.

Learning new skills is a benefit, but the main goal is getting these kids to be life-long readers. The Readers' Choice program is for third, fourth and fifth grade students. The younger grades also have a new program called 'Super Kids.'

Teachers said so far these programs have been a great success.

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