While a program such as this can quantify and reward by counting the number of books or minutes read, it cannot (without substantial bureaucracy) ensure that your child reads high quality and varied books in a conducive environment at an appropriate pace. For these benefits, we will rely on you, the parents. Please support your child in this endeavor.
The program guidelines are the same for all grades participating (students finishing grades K--5). The teachers have indicated that most kindergarteners are not yet reading, so most or all of the reading in this grade will be done by parents, older siblings or friends.
A number of parents have asked questions about counting books/chapters and also minutes. What if my child is counting books/chapters, and reads a couple of very short (or very long) chapters? Should the parent require the child to count 3 short chapters as 1 book or allow one very long chapter to count as 2 books? The program design anticipates that some books/chapters will be very short and some very long. Each book/chapter should count as 1 book as long as the child is reading material on his or her reading level. If you notice that your child is only reading very short books, or chapter books with very short chapters, or is reading books which are too easy or too difficult, encourage some different reading material. If a "chapter-type" book has no chapters (some books are written in a "diary" format, or divided only by "part I and part II"), have your child count every 10 pages as a chapter.
If your child is counting by minutes, we ask that you be especially diligent about recording time. We appreciate the difficulty in keeping track of time, but ask that you not "estimate" time read or "round up" on the minutes. Accurate time recording makes the program fairer for those counting by minutes. Thank you!
Since there are 72 days in this summer of 2011, those children who read three books/chapters (or for 30 minutes) each day will earn all of the "level" prizes, and be entered into the lottery for "special" prizes. The prize structure is designed to reward all readers, but those who read more consistently will earn more prizes. Please thank and patronize the local merchants who donated so generously for this academic program. We encourage participating children to send a special written thank you note to the merchant of their choice.
Merchants sometimes express concern about parents who collect student's prizes or students who attempt to collect prizes after the expiration date. In order to retain our merchant pledges, please help your child to follow the instructions listed on the prize coupons. Coupons will detail pertinent information including expiration date, coupon presentation, and other special instructions.
Please feel free to send comments about your family's experience and suggestions for any future program in the envelope with your child's book list. If you have any questions during the summer, please contact Elka Troutman, program coordinator, at AshlandSummerReadingProgram@gmail.com.
If your family enjoys this program, and you are interested in volunteering to help next year, (one meeting in April, and whatever time you can spare to secure prizes in April and May) and tallying program results in September, please contact Elka Troutman at AshlandSummerReadingProgram@gmail.com.