Reading Millionaires at Neston High School

By Chris Jarosh

This is a school news article written by Charlotte Pearson, librarian at Neston High School, about the Reading Millionaires scheme used by the school alongside Accelerated Reader to incentivise reading.

On Friday 29th January 2016, the Reading Millionaires assembled to present their millions to head teacher, Mr. Dool. This group of 35 met with Mr. Dool before attending a reading conference in the library with Miss Pearson and a free meal in the Gallery restaurant in school.

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“I only started Neston in April 2015 but I loved the variety of books in the library and I think Accelerated Reader is a fantastic idea that helps students read more. My love of reading has increased since the move.” – A student at Neston High

Each student at Neston High School in year 7, 8 or 9 is enrolled onto the Accelerated Reader system. Students can log into this program in school or at home and log their reading progress and success. The librarian, Miss Pearson, along with the English department run this system in school to allow students to track their reading and stretch themselves academically. Amongst other data, the system counts how many words a students has read in each book they have read. The Reading millionaires have all read more than 1 million words since starting this academic year in September 2015.

In the first year of this scheme 13 students managed to reach the status of Reading Millionaire. The effect of last year’s millionaires was palpable as 35 students clamoured into Mr Dool’s office to receive their awards. The previous year’s reading millionaires presented an impressive 22 million words to Mr Dool but this year a colossal 58 million was presented. One student shared his story of how he was just short of millionaire status the previous year so he worked extra hard this year to reach this prestigious achievement. The readers shared some of their favourite books with Mr. Dool over some millionaire’s shortbread. Because of the increasing number of outstanding readers the scheme has been altered to reflect unbelievable word counts. The scheme now has bronze award for those over 1 million words, silver award for those over 2 million, gold award for those over 3 million and platinum award for those over 4 million, which Gina Gunderson in year 7 was the first student to achieve.

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“Accelerated Reader helped me to find books I enjoyed.”

In the reading conference students reflected on their journey from ‘page one to a million word.’ Miss Pearson started students off on their reading experiences discussion from their reading memories before Primary school. The conference was a wonderful session where students could share what book or person or situation formed them into a reader that could read over a million words. Students also discussed the books which had ‘hooked’ them into reading.

Titles included: Beast Quest, Skulduggery Pleasant, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Tom Gates, Harry Potter, The Gruffalo, Mr Men, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Green Eggs and Ham, Percy Jackson, Animal Ark, Cherub, Throne of glass, GONE series.

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“Accelerated Reader is the best idea ever.”

Students continued their bookish discussions over a free lunch in the gallery to network and discover new titles that were recommended by other millionaires. We would like to offer a huge congratulations to each millionaire who has shown such dedication to reading and shown incredible insight in their discussions at the Reading Conference, they are truly inspirational!

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