Central Elementary students celebrate Accelerated Reader

Published 7:48 am Thursday, April 21, 2011


On April 8, Central Elementary Students in grades K-5 celebrated Central Elementary school’s students reading triumph at the AR (Accelerated Reader) Mall.

An Accelerated Reader Mall is a mall located in the media center that allows the students to turn their earned reading points into money/cash.

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The Media Specialist at Central Elementary School, Annie P. Hayes, was given the opportunity to turn the library into a mall — a shopping area where students received the opportunity to purchase various items of choice.

Those who read the most books and did their best on the quizzes were rewarded with the option to “shop until they dropped” with items at the AR Mall.

This mall is arranged each semester within the media center by the librarian as a reward for motivating students reading success.  All funds were utilized at the mall to purchase optional items.

Central Elementary school has been using the Accelerated Reader program to encourage reading for the last several years, and its implementation has been extremely successful.

The Media Specialist, Annie P. Hayes said, “that the students respond to the program as it uses a reward system to motivate. The program enables the students to choose the books that they want to read so they can read what interests them.  It exposes the students to all different types of reading materials and genres.”

The Accelerated Reader Program divides its catalog of books into these different levels and enables students to choose books that are appropriate for their skills.

There are two forms of the program, an online version and a desktop version.

All of the students at Central Elementary School use the online version as it allows students to utilize books other than what’s available at the school library.

Also, it permits the students to read their library books during center/reading time, and later; they can take their test within the classroom and generate reading points.

After the students read a book, they are given a quiz that tests their comprehension.  Several points are earned for every book in which the students read.

All points accumulate and turn into money/cash.

With the earned currency, every child is given the opportunity to exhaust their funds at the AR Mall to purchase individualized items preferred.

Furthermore, the program is used in part to motivate students who otherwise would not be reading much outside of the classroom.

The motivation to read comes from the program’s competitive nature.

Next year, the media specialist suggested that the prizes could vary from semester to semester as some incentives could possibly include pizza parties, stickers, certificates, ribbons, and medals as their rewards.

“It’s not necessarily competition among other students, but motivation for themselves,” Central Elementary School Media Specialist, Annie P. Hayes said.

The excitement and reading triumph continued after the students at CES exited the AR Mall.

A “RIF Gallery” of RIF Books was positioned in the hallway next to the library by the media specialist so that every child at Central Elementary School could receive a free RIF book as well.

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit organization in the United States. RIF prepares and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to children and families who need them most.

RIF inspires children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own.

The RIF program has given the children at Central Elementary School “a love of reading, of wanting to know more about the world around them and using books to investigate things they’re interested in,” Hayes said.