Kids reading on a flower rung

Boosting motivation for young readers at DT

By: Morgan Haba

The Doniphan-Trumbull Elementary is holding its fifth annual Cardinal Reading Challenge starting in September 2022 and running through May 2023. The challenge is a reading competition between grade levels that encourages students to read more. Throughout the year, students in grades K-6 will fill out reading logs and question forms about the books they read. The class with the most Golden Sowers read, Monthly Challenges completed and most books read will receive awards at the end of the school year.

“I think it motivates kids to read because it sparks competitiveness between students. The teachers also get into it too; they push their kids to read. Plus, we hold a party at the end for each winning class. We also do monthly challenges to win a prize, which also motivates them to keep reading,” said the founder of the Cardinal Reading Challenge and elementary librarian, Mrs. Misty Shaul.

Once a month, grades K-2 and 3-6 hold a monthly challenge. Each month, there is a different assignment. They often include something about the genre, main character or setting. For example, grades 3-6 may read a book that takes place in a big city during the month of February. If a student completes a monthly challenge, they may choose a prize consisting of pencils, erasers, stickers, or small toys. 

Teachers often promote this to their students by keeping the reading logs and question forms in their classroom, allowing students to have easy access to the forms. Teachers often find students encouraging their peers to fill out the forms. This goes to show how effective the Cardinal Reading Challenge is. Many kids have found their passion for reading through exploring new genres. 

“I am excited to participate in this year's competition,” Skylar Leth reported, “I really enjoy reading.”