How many words do you think you can read in a year? Research shows that students who read one million words each school year are able to develop sufficient vocabulary and improve reading proficiency. This year, Mrs. Stacy Chambers challenged Tattnall students to meet the one million word goal. As of this past Friday, May 13, thirty one students, ranging from grades 3-9, have met or surpassed that goal set by their Media Center Specialist.
“I wanted to incorporate a program that would encourage our kids with their summer reading, and there is extensive research that shows reading over a million words in a school year leads to greater comprehension and a stronger love of reading in general,” remarked Chambers.
According to Chambers, students who read at least four books over the summer are more likely to retain knowledge from the previous school year, and are also less likely to backslide academically. “The challenge this year has increased the amount of words read by our 1-6th grade students from 45 million (2014-2015) to 60 million (2015-2016),” stated Chambers.
Chambers is able to track student totals using the Accelerated Reader program. “Their AR points reset after every quarter, but word totals are cumulative. It’s turned out to be a perfect motivator for them,” commented Chambers. As a whole, Tattnall students in grades 1st-6th have read over 15 million more words this year because of Mrs. Chambers’ challenge. In fact, one seventh grade student at TSA has taken the million word challenge to the next level. Matthew Farmer has surpassed all of his peers reading over 10 million words in one year.
To put that total into perspective, Farmer has read and tested on 110 books in one short school year earning 96% accuracy. “My husband and I have read to Matthew from the very first day he was born. To this day, he will take his books to bed with him. He’s a huge Science Fiction and Fantasy fan, but he hasn’t quite acquired a love of The Harry Potter series like I had hoped,” joked Matthew’s mother, Joyce Farmer.
Members of The Millionaire Club were treated to a limo ride and lunch off campus today.