Millions of Minutes: Students Discover Joy of Reading
Posted on 02/13/2019
Read-A-Thon participants pose in gym
It could be argued that the three R’s are reading, reading and reading. The ability to read critically is the foundation for learning across all content areas, including math, science, athletics, and the arts. It provides opportunities for a successful future for every student, regardless of their background.
Reading winners lined up in gymThe challenge: how do you get students excited about reading, not only in school but outside the school day? One strategy is to challenge them with another reason to read – a good old contest.

So in mid-January, Rio Rancho elementary school students were invited to “Take a Shot at Reading.” For two weeks, principals, teachers, and librarians challenged students to read every night. In addition, we asked parents/guardians to turn off the television and model reading themselves.

Did it work? Across the district, our amazing students read a total of 1,345,392 minutes! That’s equal to over 22,423 hours of reading in only two weeks!

Read-A-Thon winning school celebratesThe top readers from each grade level from all ten schools (a total of 60 students) were recognized at the CHS/RRHS basketball game at halftime. Cheer and dance team members from both high schools had fun engaging the students on the court, with fans cheering on their accomplishment.

Among schools, Vista Grande Elementary finished in first place, Ernest Stapleton in second and Sandia Vista in third place. But the real winners were the students who rediscovered the joy of reading and who can go anywhere and learn anything they can dream of through the magic of the printed word.