Marlborough – This past year, grades 3 – 8 at the Immaculate Conception School in Marlborough participated in the 40 Book Challenge with amazing results. Both Grades 6 and 7 reached 150 percent of their expected academic growth, per the standardized testing results. Grade 8 surpassed that incredible benchmark by reaching 200 percent of their expected growth.
Teachers have long known that the best way for students to improve their reading and writing skills is to read. While students have not always been overjoyed about reading 20 minutes per night and submitting weekly reading logs, they have all agreed that they enjoyed reading the books, discovered new genres, and learned about new ideas and peoples.
In conjunction with the 40 Book Challenge, students in grades 4 – 8 also participated in the Exercise Your Mind Program sponsored by the Worcester Bravehearts. During Wellness Week, the students enjoyed a motivational visit from Jake the Lion, the mascot for the Bravehearts. The top readers in each class received a cap from the team, and each student was presented with a ticket for free admission to a home game.
Top readers were Kanishk Pothireddy (grade 8), Amy Shanahan (grade 7), Martin Levins (grade 6), Emily Hamonn (grade 5), and Julia Resteghini (grade 4).
To date, each class in the middle school has read over 100 books (several students in each grade have read the same title) – grade 8 has read 143 books; grade 7 has read 230 books; and grade 6 has read 194 books.