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Madison County Reads

school board passes literacy initiative unanimously


Madison County Reads is a project, sponsored by the Madison County School District, which intends to accelerate student reading by offering rewards. The reading initiative is something the District has been working on since last year and finally voted on and approved at the Feb. 3 school board meeting. Superintendent Doug Brown said the purpose of the program is to not only increase student reading, but to coax kids to read on or above their current grade level. Madison schools already use an Accelerated Reader program that encourages students to read books on their level and to check their reading comprehension by way of computerized testing. Students receive points based on the level and length of the book they read, along with their score on the test. The Madison County Reads program will now reward students for not only reaching their accelerated reading goals, but for exceeding them as well. Community involvement for the new program will involve parents, who will receive occasional updates on their student’s reading strengths and deficiencies, meant to provide additional support for every student in the county. The District is also hoping to have support from the community by way of prizes to supplement funds taken from the district’s general fund. Recognition and rewards resulting from Madison County Reads will occur at each school in the district with quarterly celebrations. Students will receive certificates of achievement as well as rewards that will be commensurate with the number of points earned by the student. Prizes may include, and range from, pencils to gift cards to iPads, but the top prizes will be a monetary prize, sure to create participation and a little competition. The real goal of course is to instill the love of reading into students, which is shown to increase educational and life achievements. “Reading is the cornerstone of educational achievement and students who read well almost always excel in school and in life,” said Superintendent Brown. “It is our hope that the Madison County Reads program will lead to increases in both the quantity and quality of reading in which students engage, and we also hope that it will be a family and community endeavor.”

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