Read for the Big Game

Special Reports

(WJBF) – It’s back. A South Carolina contest to get kids to read.

For the fifth year, school officials are using football to help improve the state’s reading scores.

“Stop you’re already going to the big game. Let’s give these students a chance to go.”

South Carolina State School Superintendent Molly Spearman and the mascots for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers are teaming up with the State Department of Education to inspire kids to read.

“Something like Read Your Way to the Big Game actually puts a greater emphasis, supports the thing that we’re trying to do anyway in a very big way,” said Michelle King.

King is the Library Media Specialist at Kennedy Middle School and a big believer in the contest.

“There are a lot of kids that get into it simply because of the rivalry factor and the chance that they can win.”

The prize: four tickets to the Clemson, South Carolina football game.

Dakota Cullum, a sixth grader at Aiken Intermediate School, is reading a series of books from the “Baby Sitters Club”.

“I like the books because they are kinda like me and they have characters that are a lot like me. They are graphic novels and I really like graphic novels.”

Two years go, Hannah Boetsch won the contest. She plans to enter again this year.

“I’m reading the Mr Turept Series. I’m on the third book”.

Blakely Williams was Hannah’s teacher at the time and urges her current students to get in the game.

“I even saw reading scores improve that year and every year since so that’s why I participated in the program.”

Students are required to read books of their choice and at their reading level. They are tested on the books or write a brief summary. Their names are entered in the contest and two lucky winners will go to the big game.

“I like Clemson and I would like to go to the game and see how they really play,” said Jayden Boughton.

Desmond Downing, a South Carolina fan said, “Every time they lose, they keep practicing and try their best to win.”

Teachers can win too. Each school with 70 percent participation will be entered to win one of two $2-thousand dollar school library grants. And two teachers will win $500 dollars for their classrooms.

There’s still time to enter. The deadline is November 1st.

Unlike football, in this contest there are no real losers. The idea is to run up the reading scores.

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