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The Suburbanite
  • Green students read for 2 million minutes

  • Children at Green Primary School know what 2 million looks like.
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  • Children at Green Primary School know what 2 million looks like.
    They know because they counted all the way to 2 million … and then kept right on going.
    School principal Scott Shank challenged his students to read 2 million minutes this year and his students responded in outstanding fashion. Together, kids at the school compiled 2.6 million minutes and they reached that number with four weeks of school left to go.
    "I was blown away by how excited they were and the amount of reading they did,” Shank said. “We kept a running daily poll with updates every month. The students really participated. In the front of the building we had a thermometer to plot how well they were doing. It helped keep them focused and on task."
    As a reward for doing so well, the students were treated to a party with music, dancing and large inflatables. All the students participated on a rotating basis and had a marvelous time as they bounced around, slid down or tried to pull against restraints on the various inflatables that dotted the schools parking lot.
    The idea for the 2 million-minute challege came from a conference that teachers attended. Kent State Professor Tim Rasinsky, kept a record of how many minutes they read.
    April Vogley and Kathy  Schumaker’s second-graders logged the most minutes this school year with a total of 125,585.
    "My students just love to read," Vogley said. "I am really proud of them. They are amazing readers (and) they look forward to reading each day. They always tried to beat their previous months total."
    Schumaker credited Vogley for helping to instill a passion for reading in her students.
    “What her students achieved is a real credit to her,” Schumaker said. “I have never seen a group of students who loved to read books as much as these students. I have four tubs of books on math and they even loved to read them. They were just great."
    Few were as passionate about the challenge as Nicolas Lofgren.
    "Give me a good book and I can't keep my nose out of it," Lofgren said. "I love to read. I like non-fiction, mostly about animals, plants, and fossils."
    Joseph Buchanan said the challenge only re-enforced how much he enjoys reading.
    "You can sum up how I feel about reading in three words: My favorite subject,” Buchanan said. “I just love to read.”
    Reading skills have become a major issue in the current Ohio curriculum. The 2 million-minute challenge not only proved that children in Green are growing in their reading abilities, but that doing so builds confidence.
    "I felt very confident about how many minutes I could read," said Ava Aller. "I like to read about animals, nature and how to do things.”