AU SABLE FORKS - Sen. Elizabeth Little kept a promise to students at Au Sable Forks Elementary School this week when she stopped in to present certificates for completing a summer reading program on Sept. 11.
For the second year, students at the school participated in Little's summertime reading program, which encourages students to read books, and write journal entries on what they've read. Little had challenged the school to increase its participation for this summer, promising to return to the school if students met her challenge. Last year 18 students finished the program, while participation this year nearly doubled to 31 students.
The program was for 1-6 graders, and was themed around Summertime Reading Passport. At a school assembly, Little addressed the student body, and was treated to a performance by the 3-6 school choir.
I sponsor the program because I believe one of the most important things you can learn in school is how to read, said Little. She pointed out that reading is important in all careers, and could serve as a passport to other worlds.
Little's communication director Dan MacIntye coordinated the program. He said it was offered to all schools within the 45th Senate District, and about 10 schools participate, bringing about 300 students into the program.
Studies have shown that students who read during the summer tend to perform better academically, said MacIntye.
MacIntye, who reviews all the reading journals, said he appreciated how students focused on the details of what they were reading. A popular book choice was the Harry Potter series.
Along with certificates and bookmarks from Little, the Au Sable Forks Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization treated the students who met the reading goal to ice cream.
Students who completed the program were Lindsey Lincoln, Briana Williams, Alex Lincoln, Ashlee Estes, Jared Estes, Nathan Hanley, William Campbell, Ridall Kirchner, Jacub Baer, Tyler Light, Jonathan Wells, Tyler Atkins, Drake Dulka, Sarah Tender, Bailey Haner, Chancelor Archer, Noah Martineau, Joel Martineau, Brandon Ano, Samuel Richards, Jasmaine Hall, Zachary Hall, Madison Hall, Mason R. Douglas, James Winch III, Eric Potthast, Zachery Hamilton, Kyle Hamilton, Payson Baer, Ashleigh Baer and Ross J. Douglas.
Im very excited to see the increase in participating and the increase in participation in the program. Its not always easy for students to read and write during the summer because there can be many distractions, said school principal Dean Lincoln.