KAYSVILLE — Racecar drivers from Rocky Mountain Raceway helped kick off “Get Revved Up for Reading Week” at Snow Horse Elementary on Monday, one of many programs established at the school to encourage reading.
This week, students earn a “lap” for every 20 minutes they spend reading. Each day has a related theme, such as Wednesday’s dress backwards day, signifying that “reading can take you in any direction.”
A Grand Prix for families will be held Thursday evening and feature guest readers. Students will join others throughout Davis County in the district’s second-annual Read-A-Thon on Friday, March 1.
Reading “makes me feel like I’m in a different world,” said fifth-grader Samantha Stokes, who attended the rally for all students.
“It’s fun and I can learn lots of things from a book that I never knew,” added Adelaide Clinger, also a fifth grader at the reading rally.
There are a lot of ways to encourage reading, according to Kathleen Bagley, principal.
“Do we have great librarians that can find any book you’re looking for?” she asked the students, who responded with an enthusiastic “yes.”
“Do we have teachers that are readers themselves?
“Do we have parents that encourage you to read and that read with you?”
“Do we have tutors and peer buddies?”
Snow Horse has set up an extensive tutoring program that brings 10 Davis High students, 33 students from Centennial Junior High and dozens more adult volunteers to the school twice a week to help with reading.
Bryson Tidwell is one who makes his way from Davis High to Snow Horse Elementary twice each week, where he spends 30 minutes as a reading tutor.
“It’s so much fun,” he said. “We work on fluency and just being excited about reading. It’s great to see the progress.”
Tutors and their students had pictures taken next to the race cars. Both groups spoke enthusiastically about the difference the one-on-one help makes to students.
“I’m a better reader now,” said one student as she stood with Sonja Clawson, who started reading with her as a tutor this year.
Reading levels go from A to Z, and the student Clawson tutors has gone from K to S. The two are reading “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” together.
“If you can read well you can write well,” said Clawson. “You can do almost anything.”
Rebecca Buttars has a son in the tutoring program and is a tutor herself.
“I started because my son’s in the program and I wanted to see how it works,” she said. “It’s really, really rewarding. The kids look forward to you coming and you look forward to coming. You see the progress every week. I love it and my son’s just flourished.”
Having the attention of a high school student and being able to hang out with a teenager who “comes from the high school just to read with me” is something the kids find “pretty cool,” said Buttars.