“We hope to have every child reading at or above grade level on books that interest them outside of the school day,” he said. “They’ll discover how reading can capture your imagination.”
The program is a points-based system that is determined by ability. The third-grader who reads at a fifth-grade level, for instance, is challenged to read advanced books because those are worth more points.
“It naturally raises reading comprehension no matter where they are in the spectrum,” said Susan Rife, the librarian at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.
The five students who win the Warner Bros. special will have multiplied their goal the most when school breaks for summer. At the end of each five-week session, the winning five students will have the free limo and lunch at a local restaurant, Jolly said.
Participation is open to the entire city, students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents and professionals. Those who double their goal will be lauded with a certificate by the Burbank Board of Education.
“How many of you have family in anther state?” Jolly asked the third-graders. “Your family will be able to watch you on TV or see you on the Internet.”
The program begins with a diagnostic vocabulary and reading comprehension exam that determines student reading ability. Students are expected to earn points every week by reading for 30 minutes or more, and points are multiplied when a student reads books at or above grade level.
“The whole goal of the program is to make lifelong readers out of our students,” said Jefferson Principal Melissa Kistler. “It really comes down to kids who are struggling readers, or reading right on grade level who can make the most gains with this program.”