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Sun Valley Elementary School helps break world reading record

Scholastic Book Fair representatives Steve Black and Jonita Broel, at right, were on hand to present Sun Valley Elementary School Principal Patrice Parker, center, a certificate of accomplishment and a Book of Worlds Records in which her students will appear for helping to break a world reading record.

Summer may be a time of play for most elementary students, but for the entire student body at Sun Valley Elementary School it was a time to help break a reading world record.
   
In fact, the students at Sun Valley Elementary School are featured in the Scholastic Book of World Records 2010 for the number of hours they logged reading over the summer.
   
More than 8,000 schools participated in the Scholastic Book Fairs “Read for the World Record” summer challenge, logging a total of 35,846,094 reading minutes.
   
The top 20 schools across the United States that logged the most reading minutes during the summer-long challenge earned a listing in the 2010 edition of the Scholastic Book of World Records.
   
Sun Valley Elementary students logged 208,077 minutes toward setting this world record. Three of the 20 nationwide schools were in North Carolina: Sun Valley Elementary in Union County; Lake Norman Charter School in Mecklenburg County; and an elementary school in Cabarrus County.
   
Sun Valley Elementary School Principal Patrice Parker said the majority of the K-5 students at her school (which opened in Union County in August 2008) participated in the competition. “I was shocked that we were in the top 20 schools across the US,” Parker said. “This was not just Union County, this was across the entire nation.”
   
Parker credits her students’ parents’ encouragement with much of the summer reading success. “Our parents are very supportive of their little ones reading. Our parents really push reading. This was a great way to keep the students reading during the summer rather than just going home.”

The nationwide competition officially began May 1, 2009, and ended August 31, 2009. “It was a great reading incentive for parents when children were on family vacations and traveling, reading in the back seats of cars,” said Scholastic Book Fairs Senior Field Representative Steve Black. “Instead of, “How much further is it Mom?” they were reading for this.”

“We started this program in conjunction with our schools to help provide them a fun way to keep their students reading through the summer,” said Jonita Broel, senior sales consultant with Scholastic Book Fairs. “The web site that the children were directed to was interactive all summer. It was a learning experience as well as someplace to document their minutes reading.”
   
Students could read any book, not just ones from Scholastic Books. “The original challenge was a million minutes to break the 2009 summer reading record,” Broel said. “We far exceeded that.”
   
Broel said the summer reading program was so well received that Scholastic Books will again try to break the 2010 world record. “Now the challenge is 50 million minutes,” she said. “You want the children to keep reaching. This is national.”
   
Sun Valley Elementary School students will celebrate their victory with a school-wide celebration. “We are very proud of our students for their participation and to be a part of this nationwide contest,” Parker said.
     
Parker said the students will work to break their record next summer. “Reading enhances who the students are as a future citizen,” Parker said. “It encapsulates everything about them, their dreams, their visions, their aspirations. That’s why I see it’s so important for children to read. It takes them places that they may not readily go.”
   
As for which students had the most reading minutes – students at Sunset Palms Elementary School in Boynton Beach, Fla., had the most time logged with 683,057 reading minutes.
 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 by

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