Incredible, as in an incredible display of commitment by Crofton Elementary School students to surpass the school’s read-a-thon record over a two-week period.
Also Incredible, as in the Mr. Incredible costume worn by principal Jennifer Calverley as part of her commitment to students for reaching the target.
This was the third year of the read-a-thon at the school and students take great pride in the project, sitting down for long periods with their books and shedding the need for electronics and technology in the process during that time.
“It is a PAC fundraiser,” noted Calverley. “What shines brighter than that is the reading that the kids do.”
The Parent Advisory Council created something wonderful and the students are always up for the challenge.
“Every child has a personal goal and there’s a school goal that each child contributes to,” explained Calverley.
The total required to reach the first year was 60,000 minutes and 100,000 last year.
“Every year, they’ve beaten it,” said Calverley.
“The first year they beat it so well we made it 100,000 to challenge them.”
Moving it up to 120,000 minutes or 2,000 hours for the third year didn’t faze them and they made it again with an actual total of 145,796. “They crushed it,” enthused Calverley.
The event started on Jan. 27, Family Literacy Day, and concluded on Feb. 7.
An incentive is thrown in every year if the students reach the prescribed goal. Kids from every division put in their suggestions and one is drawn at the launch.
The first year, Calverley was duct taped to a wall and the second year she wore a mask, snorkel and fins at school for a week.
“This year, it’s a different Disney costume for a week and I have to sing on the announcements,” she pointed out.
Calverley embraces the requirements and the kids, of course, love it.
The principal dressed as Woody from Toy Story on Monday, March 2; Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles on Tuesday, March 3; Minnie Mouse on Wednesday, March 4; Green Alien from Toy Story on Thursday, March 5; and Elsa from Frozen in her jammies for PJ Day on Friday, March 6.
The suggestion came from the Div. 1 Grade 6 class, the older students in the school.
“They were very eager to see me do something embarrassing,” chuckled Calverley.
“As embarrassing as it is, it’s a lot of fun.”
Getting the costumes together takes a lot of work on Calverley’s part. “I bought a few things and then borrowed,” she indicated.
The impressive thing about the students’ accomplishment this year is they did it with fewer participants. With Grade 7s moving to Chemainus Secondary School, Crofton Elementary’s student population dropped from 200 to 180.
“We had fewer students and this year’s students did a lot more,” praised Calverley.
“It’s about the joy of reading, too, recognizing how much reading we do in a given day and it is important.”
Every student in the school is involved from the primary classes to the Grade 6s. The PAC used to do a spell-a-thon before it was converted to a read-a-thon.
“Everybody can read in some way,” reasoned Calverley. “It’s more inclusive of everybody.”
Titus Kennedy compiled a whopping 4,025 minutes on his own during the campaign. And Morgan Hilstad read for two and a half hours every night for the entire two weeks.
After it was all over, there was a buzz in the air the entire week that followed and not from Buzz Lightyear, it was all about Calverley, who couldn’t help but bask in “the excitement in the morning when they see me,” she laughed.