Third graders at St John the Baptist School in Vermillion added, subtracted and multiplied their way through the month of May, and it wasn't just for math class. These students in Sister Mary Noel's class were tasked with tracking progress of the annual, all-school reading adventure, a program that promotes independent reading, coupled with weekly reading discussion groups.
Led by 5th and 6th graders, the students meet in small, multi-grade groups each Thursday in May to turn in weekly reading minutes (signed by parents), discuss specific authors or genres and make reading recommendations to group members. The highlight of the month was a visit from Hastings Pleasant Hill Library librarian Barbara Simmons, who rallied the kids to participate in the local library summer reading program, scheduled to kick off with a root beer float event on Tuesday, June 9th from 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon at the library. Her encouragement to the all-school assembly was followed by the unveiling of the school's one month of reading total: 71,401 minutes of independent reading. Grade K through 6 students were required to read at least 280 minutes for the month. Eighteen students read more than 1,000 minutes in May, with 4th graders Gianna DeGree and Ben Ryan both reading more than 2,000 minutes for the month.