READING CONNECTS: How to read a million words

7:09 PM, May 31, 2012   |    comments
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WINTERS, CA - How many words is a million words?

"Envision the Harry Potter series," Shirley Rominger Intermediate School librarian Kim Olivas said. "Some of those books are quite daunting, but the entire series itself is a little over a million words and that's seven books."

For the last few years, the school has tried to encourage its 4th and 5th grade students to read by holding a competition challenging them to try and read a million words; 40 of the students made it this year. 

With 5,000,000 words, Esther Myers read the most and yes, she loves to read.

"It's kind of like escaping into a different world," she said.

And how was she able to read so much?

"Well, staying up late, and yeah, reading through meals!" Myers said.

All the students participate and as each meets personal goals, they receive incentives to keep going. This year incentives included a "get in front of the line" pass, a homework pass and ice cream parties.

"It's been really rewarding to see some of the kids who have been struggling readers when they first got here and then this year (to become) a million or more reader," Olivas said.

The initial goal this year was for the students to reach 110 million words. By Thursday, the last day of school, they had made it to 131 million!

By Jonathan Mumm,


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