Students raise $35,000 through Reading Rocks

Pledge forms with donations for “Reading Rocks!” have been submitted and garnered $35,000 in proceeds for the Wilton Education Foundation. The event is an initiative created to encourage children in kindergarten through fifth grade to have fun reading while raising money in the process.

Currently, 1,100 students are working to complete their reading commitments and doing so in creative ways. This show of support includes two-thirds of the children at Miller-Driscoll School and half the students at Cider Mill School.

“They are making time for extra reading, above and beyond their homework,” said Julie Steckel, a foundation board member and coordinator of “Reading Rocks!”

“The program encourages the students to choose their own reading goals. They can be read to, read independently or read to someone else — anything goes.”

Incentives were offered at each school by grade and house based on the percentage of involvement. First graders came out on top so they will get an extra recess.

Nod Hill at Cider Mill won a homework-free day. After the reading part of the program is complete, a participating student in each grade in Miller-Driscoll and each house in Cider Mill will be randomly awarded a Kindle E-Reader. The students also celebrated “Dress Like a Rock Star Day.”

Ms. Steckel visited both schools and said it was “fantastic” to hear students “shouting about” Reading Rocks! with enthusiasm.

“If that message resonates with even one child, then this program is a success, regardless of the money we raise,” she said.

The Wilton Education Foundation thanked the Greer, Fleitz and Stroup families for sponsoring the program.

“We passionately believe that reading, writing and speaking well are crucial life skills,” a spokesperson for the families said.