LAKE WYLIE -- "Vote for Reading!" is the theme for this year's Reading Incentive Program at Crowders Creek Middle School.
This interactive and technological program has a variety of components. Some students have signed up for book clubs during computer time, during which they discuss a book with a group of students and an adult who also have read the book.
Students also may choose to create a digital presentation for their book, such as a PhotoStory, Podcast or video book review.
Or, students may participate in an online book chat or create scrapbook pages about their books.
Students who participate are rewarded with prizes, including pins, T-shirts, gift certificates and coupons for the school media center's Starbooks Café.
The program has been off and running for a few weeks and is already receiving rave reviews from students and teachers.
"School reading often has the stigma of being required, independent and boring," said Crowders Creek Middle School teacher Kimberly Terry, who is leading one of the book clubs. "However, our incentive program brings out the social aspect of book clubs where students read and discuss the same stories based on their opinions and insights.
"It's very engaging, and the students are eating it up," she said.
Terry has been leading a group of girls in reading Mary Downing Hahn's "Deep, Dark, and Dangerous." After the first meeting, she said many of the students said they couldn't stop reading because the book was so good.
"This book is really interesting," said fifth-grader Katie Smith. "If the book was hooked on a fishing line and a fisherman threw it out, I would jump in after it. It's the best book, and now, I'm going to read all of the author's books."
Students say they enjoy the group book discussions.
"It's a great way for us to get together and learn new things and bounce ideas off of each other," said fifth-grader Rebecca Forrest. "It's influencing me to read more every day."
Breanna Strife, also a fifth-grader, agreed and said, "It's really fun getting together and being able to read and talk about a book.
The program's objective to get students reading is working, one student said.
"All the books are amazing," fifth-grader Logan Richardson said. "It encourages young and old to read more."
Members of the school's reading incentive committee include Media Specialist Brenda Branson, fourth-grade teacher Pam Parker, fifth-grade teachers Rena Coggins, Helen Cappleman and Kimberly Terry, and sixth-grade teacher Stefanie House.