Owasso School Launches New Program To Get Kids Into Reading

Wednesday, October 2nd 2013, 11:25 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Green Country school district is doing something different to get students excited about reading.

Owasso has changed it's reading program and the town's baseball team is pitching in its support.

For years, Owasso has used the Accelerated Reader program, which is where students read a book and then take a test to see how well they comprehend it, but school leaders say it wasn't working and students were actually dreading reading. So, they've come up with a new program of their own, and they say it's working.

There's a bug going around Owasso Schools--a reading bug.

"I think that's the perfect way to say it," said Owasso High's Assistant Principal Kendal Gann.

Teachers, principals, secretaries and even baseball players have caught it.

"All my life I've really loved reading," said senior Jonah Bride.

Forty-five players from Owasso's state championship baseball team tried to spread that bug at Smith Elementary, and to promote the district's new Rams and Reading program.

"Champions read and they should read and they should like it, just like we all do," Bride said.

"We're really wanting to focus on critical thinking skills, not just read a book and recite exactly what happened," Gann said. "We're hearing feedback from our teachers that the kids are actually asking their teachers, 'Can we have some time to sit and read in our class?'"

While the R&R program is geared toward students, grades nine through 12, Gann said it's important to lay the foundation of reading early, and having the baseball team pitch in makes it even more exciting for the students.

"It makes these kids understand the importance of reading and coming and showing that to the young kids," Gann said.

School leaders came up with The Rams and Reading program after attending a Literacy Lab training this past summer. They say they hope to build on to the program in coming years.