Mounds First Graders Enthusiastic About Reading

Wednesday, February 25th 2009, 4:51 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, News On 6

MOUNDS, OK -- Mounds lost its elementary school to a fire 16 months ago, but that hasn't slowed its progress of education at all. In fact, there is a first grade class at Mounds that's about to read the library out of books.

"It's these kids, it's the parents, they just love reading," said Tammie Cole, first grade teacher.

Tammie Cole's first grade class is doing something every teacher dreams of -- reading everything they can get their hands on. They've been at it since the beginning of school in August.

"Beginning first graders coming in had read 1,000 books by November, that's not heard of," said Cole.

They hit 2,000 by the end of January. Now they are fast approaching 3,000 books.

"We'll go to McDonald's when we get to 3,000," said Cole.

Cole says she is running out of rewards and incentives -- pizza parties, ice cream, Little Debbie Snacks. Whatever she's doing, it's working.

It's all the more remarkable in light of the fire that destroyed the school 16 months ago. The students have been in a temporary building since and the new elementary school is being built to replace the old one.

Meanwhile the kids are reading every book they can find.

When they finish a book, students can take a comprehension test on the computer, pass and get credit for reading another book. They have reading groups; they read to each other, they read to the teacher.

And some, like Christine Townsend, have exceeded expectations. She's reading fourth grade chapter books.

If construction estimates are correct, the elementary students should be in their new school building by the end of the summer.