Friday, December 14, 2007
We are excited to announce the 2007 Exercise the Right to Read Prize Winners 1st Place—Charles F. Patton Middle School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania Through an innovative get-involved campaign for the students and their families, and through the seeking of corporate sponsorship from businesses in their community, this school raised nearly $9,000 through the campaign. Wow! 2nd Place—Central Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma This school went all out to bring the students, staff, and community together as one united force. From pajama reading parties to superheroes exercise day, to walking with pedometers and weights, the degree of total involvement of this school is inspiring. Congratulations to CMS on their hard work and energetic spirit! 3rd Place—Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma Two leadership classes took on the task of motivating their school to read and run their way to this top finishers’ slot. Quite an undertaking for fifty students, and kudos to the student body for rising to the challenge. Way to go! 4th Place—Kazen Middle School in San Antonio, Texas This school used "a little creative fundraising." They put a container for pennies in each classroom, and had a competition: the classroom that had the most pennies minus larger denomination coins (added by kids and faculty from competing classrooms) won a library-sponsored pizza party. Sounds creative and fun, and was also obviously effective--they pitched in pennies all the way to fourth place! Participation Prize—May Grisham School, Santa Maria, California The kindness, generosity, and good-will demonstrated by the kids at this school is something that should be turned into a movie. This is not a “rich school”, yet they felt that there were others less fortunate than they, and decided to raise money and books for a school across the state that desperately needs supplies for its library. In addition to collecting pledges, May Grisham students put on a play, sold shirts, sold popcorn, had a penny drive, wore ETRTR sandwich boards, and just worked-worked-worked to collect funds and books for their sister school. After sending 10% to First Book, May Grisham School was able to present their sister school with 2,000 very gently-used books, and a check for $3,000. What a truly inspiring school! To see what these winning schools will receive, click here We’ve also decided to add a special individual award: The Spirit Award goes to Kate Schoedinger, Reading Specialist at Ross A. Lurgio Middle School, Bedford, New Hampshire. Kate is one of those rare individuals who helps you believe that you can make your big dreams a reality. Over the past year, Kate has rallied behind the program, championing the cause throughout her school and her community. She has also been a pillar of strength and support to us personally, even coming out to the NYC Marathon to cheer us on. Although we didn’t know Kate when this program started, we know she’ll be a life-long friend. She will receive a (now rare) autographed first edition of How I Survived Being a Girl. As I said when I started this program, I'm a jogger, not a blogger. And so, until the 2008 ETRTR School Program starts up, this blog now goes (officially)dark. I need to turn my concentrations to my writing deadlines, my family, and my friends. Thanks for checking in -- I hope you'll come back for more running and reading next year!