Rainbow celebrates triumphs in reading

Rainbow's top readers were congratulated at a year-end ceremony. (CONTRIBUTED)
Rainbow’s top readers were congratulated at a year-end ceremony. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Reading has accelerated at Rainbow Elementary School to launch children as lifelong readers.

Rainbow PTA, collaborating with Summit 7 Systems in Huntsville, started a reading program last August to give incentives, like Nook e-readers, Barnes and Noble gift cards and class trophies, to students meeting or exceeding individualized goals.

Rainbow uses the Accelerated Reader (AR) program from Renaissance Learning, Inc. Students independently select books at their reading level and later take comprehension tests to confirm their understanding of the book.

“AR assigns points after the tests based on complexity and comprehension. Points accumulate throughout the year,” Amy Edwards with Summit 7 said.

“Our number one goal in using AR is for students to practice. As with anything we are learning, the more we practice the better we get,” principal Dorinda White said. White compared practicing reading to practicing shots in basketball.

“Teachers instruct in the fundamentals, but students must practice the craft. I’m thrilled with the volume of reading our students have completed this year,” White said.

Overall, reading volume at Rainbow increased for all grades from last school year by 22 percent average. “Students blasted through their reading goal by reading 420,981,234 words, or 105 percent of their goal,” Edwards said. Rainbow students read three times the national average.

The contest spurred friendly competition on the Rainbow campus. White and assistant principal Michael Gunner agreed to bravely sit in a dunk tank to celebrate the reading program’s success.

Rainbow’s Top 10 readers were sixth-grader Cassie Volkin, 1547 points; sixth-grader Corey Tolbert, 1499; fourth-grader Nolan Drummond, 1181; sixth-grader Tony Tian, 1041.9; fifth-grader Kamila Graham, 1027; fourth-grader Alex Edwards, 1003; sixth-grader Jackson Swartz, 1001; fifth-grader Joy Duan, 915; sixth-grader Grace Palenapa, 903; and fifth-grader Victoria Lee, 886.

Other students who were tops in their class were Arpana Bhooshanan, third grade, 513 points; Collin Bruins, second grade, 401 points, and Natalie Nguyen, first grade, 164.

For information on Rainbow PTA, email to Alice Lessmann at alessmann123@gmail.com. For information on Renaissance Learning, visit renlearn.com.

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