, Muskogee, OK

December 30, 2013

Run for reading a great plan

— Cherokee Elementary School has found a creative and dynamic solution to motivating students to read.

The school let 110 students run through the halls Dec. 20. Students who made their benchmark goal of reading a certain number of words aloud in one minute got to run while other students cheered.

Cherokee’s teacher trainer, Jennifer Morphis, said half the school’s 220 students got to run. That is an impressive number.

Reading is the essential skill for education. The ability to read is the foundation on which all other areas of a child’s education rest.

Cherokee has found a creative way to motivate students to read by tapping into students’ drive to move and their excitement at being able to break a rule.

“Kids, you tell them all the time not to run inside,” Principal Suzie Orton said.

“They want to run, and this encourages them to want to make their benchmarks,” she said.

The school plans another Fluency Run at the end of the year.

Educators want students to succeed. Without a solid grasp of reading, students will struggle to complete their work, and success will always be out of reach.

Building excitement in the kids through goals and rewards, particularly a reward that is as fun and active as this, is a great approach to motivating Cherokee’s students to establish a firm foundation in reading.

As Lisa Grady, a parent of Cherokee Elementary students, said, “Reading is the first milestone to succeed in school, because if they can’t read they can’t do their homework, huh?”