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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2013

Contact: Mike Sakal, Public Information Officer                     

Office:  623-882-7053; michael.sakal@goodyearaz.gov

                         Winners in Goodyear Reading Challenge announced

                    City-wide reading event concludes with 2,665 students reading 760,814 pages

 

                                                                   Students throughout Goodyear now are well read after rising to the challenge. The Reading Challenge, that is.

In an effort to improve literacy and create a fun and competitive learning environment, more than 2,600 students in grades three through eight at 10 Goodyear schools, read nearly 761,000 pages combined during the Reading Challenge. The event was a partnership between the city and the schools, an initiative to help increase students’ reading levels. 

During April, classrooms of students teamed up and read books that were on a recommended reading list to see who could read the most pages. The 6th and 8th grade winners will receive three tickets each to an Arizona Diamondbacks game and the 3rd through 5th grade winners were rewarded with an ice cream party.

Winners included: Teacher Jessica Vree’s third grade class at Odyssey Prepatory, Shawna Matteson’s fourth graders at Westar Elementary School, Malinda Benson’s fifth graders at Westar, Sara Elmore’s sixth graders at Desert Star Elementary, Elzbieta Galek’s seventh graders at Wildflower Elementary and Susan Sponsler’s eighth graders at Wildflower.

The Reading Challenge was the first event hosted by the city since joining the Read On Arizona program earlier this year, the state’s literacy improvement program. The Reading Challenge kicked off April 1, and concluded with an ice cream party for the winners at Goodyear Community Park on Friday, May 10 with Mayor Georgia Lord serving ice cream to some of the students donated by the Mister Softee of Arizona franchise owned by John D’Amato and his wife, Toni, of Goodyear.

 “Everyone worked hard and the students deserved to be rewarded,” Mayor Lord said. “We’ll do this again next year.”

The genesis of the Reading Challenge came out of Vice Mayor Joanne Osborne’s “Building Blocks to Great Schools” program partnership that was formed in 2008 to bring city officials and school administrators together to develop policies and practices that enhance the quality of education for Goodyear students.

“Even though technology may change how we read, whether hardback or electronic, two things have not - Reading leads to success and leaders are readers,” Osborne said. “By instilling a love for reading in our students and helping them improve their literacy levels, we help to better prepare our children for their future and increase their chances for success later on in life.”

                                                                                                                   – GOODYEARAZ.GOV –


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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749