Parkview students respond to reading challenge

Little could be heard Wednesday morning in Amanda Harris' class at Parkview Elementary as students read their books to reach their goal.

Parkview students are striving to collectively read and test high on 4,000 books to watch their principal Mandy Carpenter kiss a pig. Harris and Carpenter created the challenge to get their children excited about reading.

"The more they are reading the more they are going to be engaged in their books and the more they are going to learn," said Harris, who has taught at Parkview for five years. "Our ultimate goal is to get the students to come to love learning."

Students are reading Accelerated Reader books of their choice and must achieve a score of 85 percent or higher to receive credit for their read.

CMI staff photo: Benna Sayyed

Angelique Gallegos, left, and Carlos Chee, read in Amanda Harris' fourth-grade class Wednesday at Parkview Elementary,
Accelerated Reader is a software program designed to motivate students to read and to assess their comprehension of the books they read. Clovis Municipal Schools implement Accelerated Reader on campuses across the city.

Students are allowed 35 minutes of class time each school day to read and are encouraged to read at home. According to Carpenter, students have read and successfully tested on 1,561 books so far. A bulletin board near the school's front office shows student progress.

Fourth-grader Kandice Valverde is attempting to read 100 books. Valverde said she has read and tested on about 20 books. She said she reads fast.

"It would be funny to see her (Carpenter) kiss a pig because it's a pig," said Valverde, whose favorite subject is reading.

Fourth-grader Josiah Mora said he likes to read book series such as "Captain Underpants." Mora said reading is his favorite subject because books are fun once he gets into them. He said watching Carpenter kiss a pig would be amusing.

"It's a dirty pig and it seems funny to watch her kiss it," Mora said. "I'm going to read as many books as it takes for her to kiss that pig."

Students have until March 7 to reach their goal. If their goal is met, Carpenter will kiss a pig at a school pep rally on March 8.

Carpenter said students are taking the challenge seriously and said book circulation in the school's library has tripled throughout the past two weeks.

"We cannot keep the books on the shelf," said Carpenter, who has never kissed a pig before. "They are flying off (the shelves) like crazy. Anything the students can get their hands on that is on their reading level they are reading it."

Carpenter said the best part of the challenge is seeing her students excited about reading and listening to students share perspective on their books.

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