Scarselli students soar into reading |

Scarselli students soar into reading

Amy Roby

Students at Scarselli Elementary have been busy working their way around the world in a reading incentive program titled “Here’s to Our Heroes; Reading Saves the Day.”

Spearheaded by parent Heather Jackson, Reading Specialist Cindy DeBlose and the PTO, the reading challenge has been underway since the start of the school year. In addition to their regular reading assignments, students are encouraged to read extra minutes each day. Every student receives a bookmark which can be marked to record their progress. Students in grades K-3 must read an additional 15 minutes in order to check off their bookmark; those in grades 4-6 must read an additional 25 minutes.

For every box checked on the bookmark, the student earns 575 miles toward their next reading destination, with the goal being to read their way around the world. The school has a huge bulletin board of the continents, along with an airplane for each and every student at the school. Bookmarks are collected weekly and parent volunteers track the progress of each student, moving their airplane across the continents as they earn their miles.

A total of 44,212 miles is required to make the worldwide trip. Everyone started in North America. There are stops in Tokyo, Japan; Melbourne, Australia; Durban, South Africa; Stockholm, Sweden; Quito, Ecuador; and Mt. Erebus, Antarctica. Students earn certificates each time they reach a new destination.

Mrs. Neuffer’s fourth-grade class turned in the most bookmarks last Friday, which earned them each a blow-up globe.

Along with sharpening their reading skills, students have the opportunity to win some great prizes. Erick Hamilton, Maya Wolery and siblings Andrea, Megan and Gavin Perry were the first readers to complete the worldwide voyage, and were awarded with a free dinner at Red’s and a free mini-pizza from Papa Murphy’s at Scarselli’s Family Literacy Night held on Tuesday. The older students read a total 1,922 minutes in order to make it around the world; the younger students read for 1,154 minutes.

Motivational bulletin boards that complement the “heroes” theme can be found throughout the school. Members of the staff placed their hand prints on one board, along with listing their favorite hero. Another board highlights descriptive characteristics of heroes along with current and historical examples of each. At the bottom is a mirror with the caption, “You can be a hero, too.”

Countless hours have gone into the planning and execution of this incentive program which runs through Nov. 12. Carson Valley Swim Center, Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Red’s Old 395 Grill have all been generous supporters of the project.

If you’d like to help or are interested in donating prizes for the students, contact program coordinator Heather Jackson at 230-0908.

Amy Roby can be reached at