Escambia County students are not shying away from a challenge. This week is Literacy Week in Florida and elementary students across the state are being asked to take part in a million minute marathon.
“Schools are asked to allow kids to read an extra twenty minutes a day,” said Kelly Aeppli-Campbell, Elementary English Language Arts Specialist for the Escambia School District. “Each year they try to raise the bar and get more students reading, so the teachers keep spread sheets with how many minutes the children read and we send it in to the state.”
Teachers and students work to make the week fun with guest readers and themes like “Camo Day” or “Chill out Day,” where the kids can dress up, relax and read. A music teacher at Molino Park Elementary even rewrote the lyrics to the pop tune, “Call Me Maybe,” to “Read Like Crazy,” and recorded it with her students.
“It’s a great way to motivate kids to read and be able to attach joy and fun with reading,” said Aeppli-Campbell, who added illiteracy is still a problem. “A lot of kids don’t have books in the home or a limited number of books. Or there’s no one there to read to them. Some parents are working hard just to pay the bills, much less read to them. That’s why mentors are so important.”
Literacy Week is an annual event in Florida schools.