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‘Links to Literacy’ program to come full circle for students, staff; Paper clip linking event is Saturday

By Staff | May 30, 2008

Students at Cape Coral’s Wellington Academy will celebrate their love for reading this weekend with the “Links to Literacy” program.

Teachers, students and parents will be attending a celebration from 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday at Rutenberg Park in South Fort Myers, where they will stretch thousands of paper clips across the park.

In the Links to Literacy program, students are given a paper clip from their teacher each time they read a book or magazine.

“Links to Literacy is a program to show children concretely how much they have read all year,” said Melissa Flores of Wellington Academy. “They get a paper clip every time they read a book with their parents or with us, and we link all of the paper clips together.”

Flores said it is one thing to have the children write down the number of books they read, but to have them stretch out their paper clips makes the number quantifiable.

Last year there were more than 18,000 books read by the students and their families, with paper clips spreading across the entire length of a football field. This year they are hoping to surpass that amount.

“Between all three of our schools we will have close to 20,000 clips. We have beat last year’s goal,” said Flores.

In order to achieve these numbers, the school holds an open library with the students on a weekly basis, and parents read with their children at home — literature that is age appropriate. At the end of each book they are assigned a short book report, where students write about their favorite part of the book or their favorite character.

So far the school’s top reader has completed more than 1,300 books, although that number is subject to change.

“It is a program throughout the state. They read miles and miles of books, and it gives them a love for literacy,” said Flores.

The Wellington Academy a campus in south Cape Coral, north Cape Coral and in Fort Myers. For more information on Wellington Academy, visit: wellingtonacademyinc.com.