Thursday, November 1, 2012
Rossville Middle School teacher Anne Kilbourne has come up with a fail-proof way to get her sixth-graders to read.
With her newly implemented program “Delivering Reading Results,” the students in Kilbourne’s four classes can compete to see who can read the most. The top two readers from each class are put into a drawing each month. The grand prize is having their teacher visit their house dressed as a pizza delivery woman with two free pizzas in hand.
“The first delivery I made, the winner invited all their friends over,” laughed Kilbourne. “I enjoyed the whole thing. It was so fun to see them smile.”
She partnered with the management of the Battlefield Parkway Papa John’s, who she said was quick to jump on board, even providing her with an authentic delivery outfit. Though initially nervous to ask the pizzeria for help with the project, Kilbourne said she used her experience to teach her classes the power of taking action.
“I’m trying to get my students to speak out in class,” she said. “It was hard for me to ask [Papa John’s to become a part of the project] because it’s a crazy idea. It took a lot of courage and I was trying to encourage my own students to take that initiative and that practice in class pays off.”
Kilbourne said she thinks the incentive to read is more than just winning free pizza.
“I think the fact that somebody would take the time … to enter into their world for a while really means a lot to them,” she said.
For top readers that don’t win the drawing, there are other prizes as well so as not to discourage them from reading more, including being teacher for the day and getting to each lunch with Kilbourne.
“From experience, I’ve found that when a student reads it affects every other subject,” said Kilbourne, explaining that avid readers often score the top grades in class and on tests. “If I can get them hooked into it, if I can get them to read one book they really like [it can open up opportunities for them]. I would tell every family and parent out there to have their students read for even just 20 minutes a day.”
She said she plans to continue the monthly drawings throughout the school year.