CLEVELAND — Reading one million books and/or one million minutes. That’s the goal of the city’s “Cleveland Reads” challenge for 2023.
As of May, nearly 16,000 readers have read close to three million minutes and a little over 158,000 books, and WKYC’s adopted school, Harvey Rice Wraparound, is contributing to these numbers.
The school recently held a pep rally for reading and scholarship to celebrate the completion of a month-long challenge as part of the Cleveland Reads campaign. Classrooms in the pre-K through eight building competed against each other to see who could read the most books.
Ashley Alexander’s first grade class took home the top prize, logging 73 books total. Alexander says the love of reading motivated her students.
“They want to read,” Alexander says. “They want to learn. They want to figure out things around them.”
According to the state’s latest school report card, although 100% of students met the Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirements, only 7.1% of third graders at Harvey Rice Wraparound scored proficient on the reading segment of the state English language arts test.
“We can give them books all day every day,” Alexander shares. “We can talk to parents, but it's building their own intrinsic motivation.”
This is the main reason WKYC is helping Harvey Rice encourage and reward reading.
In total, Harvey Rice students read a total of 186 books during the April challenge. WKYC was able to secure prizes for the winning classes, which include an ice cream social, pizza party and a field trip to the Disney Animation Immersive Experience.