SVS Canaries read over 6K books, 20M words in 1 week


They say the early bird gets the worm. The San Vicente Canaries must be catching lots of bookworms. During this year’s Annual PSS Millionaire Read-a-Thon they read, in one week, 6,273 books containing 20,323,870 words and passed comprehension quizzes on each and every one of them. In fact, the Canaries have read 40,611 books with 137,325,643 words so far this school year. With 576 students in 1st through 5th grade, that’s an average of 72 books per student. How many books have you read this year?

The students are taking part in a program called Accelerated Reader. Students read books at their reading level, and then take a computerized quiz that checks for understanding of the book. The program keeps track of how many quizzes each student passes, and even the number of words they have read.

San Vicente Elementary School’s Garrett Borja takes a quiz. (Contributed Photo)

San Vicente Elementary School’s Garrett Borja takes a quiz. (Contributed Photo)

San Vicente Elementary School’s John Kintol reads an e-book. (Contributed Photo)

San Vicente Elementary School’s John Kintol reads an e-book. (Contributed Photo)

“This program is really helping SVES students reach our goal of having all students read on level,” according to Rick Gramlich, the school’s librarian. “The students really enjoy AR, as we call it. They can set goals, read books at their own level, and watch their point totals and reading levels grow. AR is actually helping our students perform better in all subjects. When they are reading interesting books that they have chosen, they will read faster to find out what happens next. This leads to faster decoding of the words and sentences they read. Decoding faster helps them in other subjects as well because they won’t have to slowly trudge through the reading for those subjects. Another great thing about this program is that it gives quantified data for students, classes and the whole school. We are lucky at SVS to have administrators who understand the importance of having a well-stocked library. With over 20,000 books, I think our library has more books than any other elementary library in the CNMI.”

The Millionaire Read-a-Thon this year was a frantic, fantastic success. The library was packed all day with students borrowing 8 books at a time, reading them, taking quizzes and then high-tailing it back to the library for more books. “Thank goodness for Ms. Rufina Seman, who was helping me in the library, I was ready to give up,” said Mr. Gramlich. “It was crazy. At one time I counted over 70 students in the library with 8 books each to return or borrow. I loaned out over 5,000 books in 5 days. The Library Software crashed at least twice a day. But it was great to see so much excitement over reading. At SVES we understand we need to compete with TV, video games and the Internet. Reading is the foundation for most learning, so the effort is worth it!”

SVS has some great readers. Tara White’s class read 4,016,923 words in one week. They have read, and passed comprehension quizzes on, 1,612 books so far this school year. Two of her students, Emma Jeon and Brigit Tabuena, have already read over two million words each this year. SVS has a lot of “Millionaire Readers”, students who have read over a million words in the last eight months. They are: Mark Azarcon, Marinel Falalimpa, Jayana Socorro, Regina Reyes, Michelle Pan, Julius Olivo, Barbara Petrus, Elyna Deleon Guerrero, Princess Cania, Sumin Ahn, Sommer Gomez, Robert Deleon Guerrero, Anita Perez, Diana Cao, Melfred Valdez, Neiyahni Benavente, Kelly Wu, Drauzen Jicko, and Maria Rasa. (SVES)

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