TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa County kids met the challenge - and read more than 2 million books in the last 11 months. More than 30,000 students took part in the Reading Tree Challenge sponsored by Gathering Place. 

The challenge got its name from the largest and oldest cottonwood tree at the city's new park. Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist and Gathering Place Director Tony Moore announced the challenge last October to encourage reading and imagination.

"We are thrilled that the students met the initial goal and want to keep the momentum going,” said Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist. 

"Reading is an important aspect to learning and we want to emphasize its importance. The Reading Tree Challenge has accomplished that."

Kids have read 2,262,258 books so far. 

“We are so excited that kids throughout Tulsa County not only met this goal, but in fact, far exceeded it," Tony Moore said.

"Such an achievement is quite significant and is a testament to the dedication, hard work and commitment of our kids, teacher, parents and guardians."
 
Moore also thanked the staff of the Tulsa County-City Library for all their efforts in helping kids meet the challenge.

Gathering Place, a project of George Kaiser Family Foundation, covers nearly 100 acres of waterfront along the Arkansas River in Tulsa. Its grand opening is Saturday, September 9.

You can get a preview of all the park has to offer by watching Terry Hood and Craig Day at 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 4. Don't miss it!