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The Sweet Taste of Reading Success

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Students reap the rewards of KSD’s Summer Reading Program

Kearney, Mo., Sept. 29, 2021: Reading never tasted so good.

Kearney School District rewarded hundreds of students from Dogwood, Kearney, Hawthorne, Southview and LENS elementary schools with dishes of delightful Dole whip today for their participation in our 2021 Summer Reading Program.

This year, 234 elementary students completed the Summer Reading Program, according to KSD Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Ali Stewart. The program was started to promote academic engagement during the break and help prevent learning loss.

“Summer reading helps reading become a lifelong habit,” Ms. Stewart said. “It helps children keep their skills up, and generate interest in the library and books.”

Each student had to read a minimum of 200 minutes over the summer, track their time and turn in their information to their librarians when they returned to school. Students who complete the annual program are rewarded. A visit from KC Whip was this year’s incentive.

Cooper, a fourth-grader at Hawthorne Elementary School, sat in the shade with his buddies and enjoyed his treat while the KC Whip food truck handed out a steady flow of cool cups to his classmates. He focused his 200 minutes of reading on the I Survived series of historical novels by Lauren Tarshis.

“Those are great stories because you feel like you really are having an adventure in the past,” Cooper said. “I’d finish one and just pick up the next. It was easy.”

A major goal of the Summer Reading Program is to stoke that level of enthusiasm for reading, according to Hawthorne Reading Teacher Sarah Booth. She supervised waves of students as they came out of Hawthorne to get their reward.

“When our students read over the summer, they return to school in a much better position to succeed from day one,” Booth said. “That is always important, but especially now with the challenges we’re facing with COVID-19.”

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