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Road to the Rockies

Sarah Phillips (left) with this year’s six top reading minutes readers and assistant Yvonne Denslow (far right). Students were awarded $100 gift certificates to the Rockies Dugout Store, with the grand prize of a $200 gift card to the Rockies Dugout Store going to fourth grader Julien Gabrysh (back top left).

Reading is an activity that provides parents and children a way to connect. Reading also helps children build language, literacy and social skills. Road to the Rockies was an optional fun reading program available to all Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) students, kindergarten through fifth grade. Each inning (or month) from September to May students tracked the number of minutes they read at home by themselves, were read to by a parent or caregiver, or read out loud to someone.

Personal goals for each inning ranged from 250 reading minutes for kindergarten, up by grade to 500 minutes for fifth-grade readers. Throughout each month, top readers received awards that included a bookmark, a reading light, a small git card and more. At the end of the program, five top readers received a $100 gift certificate to the Rockies Dugout Store. One grand prize of a $200 gift certificate to the Rockies Dugout Store was awarded to Julien Gabrysh.

Program sponsor Sarah Phillips of Sarah Phillips Group at Compass Real Estate was thrilled that so many students remained engaged in their reading and made it part of their daily routine. First-grade student parent Rebecca Jacobs was also happy to see a reading program implemented at TTE. “Having the structure of the reading minutes motivated Ryan to read with us and on his own this school year. It worked so well for us that we’re continuing it this summer with our own reading calendar and prizes,” said Rebecca. In addition to the provided benefits of reading, parents saw improvements in their kids writing and math skills over the course of the year due to tracking and counting minutes read.

This year there was a total of 466,899 reading minutes between the 17 TTE classes. Five classrooms with the highest reading minutes received a surprise pizza party. The next Road to the Rockies reading program will begin in September and run through the 2024-2025 school year.

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Sarah Phillips and Kelly Colasuonno



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