BOUNTIFUL — Students at Valley View Elementary hit an impressive goal of reading more than 361,000 minutes. They were rewarded with a pizza party from KSL.
Chopper 5 delivered Papa Murphy's pizzas to the school as part of Read Today's ongoing effort to encourage more reading in and out of school. The pizza is just one powerful motive for the students, who are asked to read at least 20 minutes day.
However, the party almost didn't happen. Students met their reading goal, but the school was challenged to recruit at least one community or parent tutor for each class for the rest of the year.
"The office put out the word that we desperately need your help, and we were inundated with calls," said Nancy Nielson with Americorps.
Volunteers flocked to the school to help with the program. About 20 volunteers committed to the reading effort, including parents, retired teachers and community members.
"I said I'll come to do some tutoring during my lunch break, and it's been incredible," said Tim Hallisey, a new volunteer.
"These kids are our future, and It's very important that they're trained to be all they can be."
Even with a small daily goal of extra reading, volunteers have seen drastic improvement in many of their students.
"I've seen my little sixth-grade boy just blossom," said Rosemary Hood, another volunteer for Read Today.
Chopper 5 also delivered pizzas to Oak Hills Elementary, where students have made about the most progress in their reading scores with the help of dedicated teachers and tutors who support neighborhood children. Students bounded with enthusiasm to greet Chopper 5.
"These kids are our future, and it's very important that they're trained to be all they can be," Nielson said.
For more on this tutoring movement go to readtoday.com.