Summer reading … What a bummer! Not at Read Write! This summer, our goal was to inspire our students not only to read their assigned summer books but also enjoy reading all summer long. To do that, we started an initiative: Dart Through Summer Reading. For every 20 pages a student eye read or for every 40 minutes a student ear read, they earned a balloon. At the end of the summer, the students could cash in their balloons for a chance to throw a dart at paint filled balloons, which were attached to a canvas. We called it our End-Of-Summer Dart Art Party.
When I started this initiative at the beginning of the summer, I was expecting some participation but I did not expect so much excitement! The students were off and running. As fast as I could restock the balloon cup, the students were tacking them up with their cartoon. I recruited the help of my fellow instructors to cut out paper balloons. It was just too much; my hand was going to fall off! Everyone happily pitched in and we kept the balloon cup full.
But looking at the walls of the learning center, realizing that the creators of “Up” would be jealous, I thought, “there is no way I can fill enough balloons or buy enough canvases for what these students have earned.” That was a pretty exciting moment… A bit overwhelming but so exciting!
Enter, Kate. Kate is the newest instructor at Read Write and she was a lifesaver during this event. Kate and I brainstormed a bit and finally decided that we needed to cap the number of times a student could throw a dart. We decided the cut off was 10 balloons. Anyone who earned more, received 10 chances to throw a dart and the received a goody bag in addition. Kate even created balloon rockets out of straws, string and balloons, which we stuffed in goody bags. We were so impressed with the students; we got trophies for our three highest earners who earned 82, 53, and 40 balloons!
Read Write is so proud of all our students! Thank you guys for working so hard all summer and coming out to celebrate YOUR accomplishments!