Laurel’s Wild Winter Reading Challenge connects kids with a love of books

by Chrisie Wendin on February 18, 2011

This week’s rain couldn’t dampen the excitement of students, parents, and staff at Laurel School. Before heading out for the February winter break, they celebrated the culmination of the school’s Wild Winter Reading Challenge. The program awarded students paper links for the amount of reading they did, with the ultimate goal of creating a giant paper chain that would wrap around the school.

The resulting chain, however, did much better than that: At a little over a half-mile long and composed of 11,225 links, Laurel Librarian Gail Bradley estimates that it could stretch from the school all the way up Ringwood Avenue to Middlefield Road! (Pictured above are segments of the chain, which each class added to during the course of the Challenge.)

“The program was more successful than we anticipated.  The children loved reading to earn links. They just love reading, period! ” Gail says. She attributes its success to the enthusiasm of staff, parents, and students, all working together.

The only minor complaint? Teachers were running out of room to store the links, as the chain grew and grew. Next year, she expects the Challenge to return, but instead children may earn unpopped popcorn kernels, with a popcorn party capping things off.

For Gail and the Laurel teachers, the best part was “seeing reluctant readers reading up a storm. Kids who ‘didn’t like to read’ before, now enjoying reading a lot more.”

Reading chain photo by Gail Bradley


One Comment

ahbra December 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Thanks for this, I just got hired and am starting next week at a school library, right before winter break. I wanted to do something relatively free for a winter reading challenge and this is it. Thanks! No hot cocoa to buy, no parties to throw, just a nice paper visual to hang around the library for a celebratory feel. Perfect.

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