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Challenger contributes to Million Minute Reading Marathon

By Staff | Feb 11, 2012

Challenger Middle School’s reading department recently celebrated literacy for a full week, helping Lee County Schools contribute to the Million Minute Marathon at 776,918 minutes as part of Celebrate Literacy Week.

“Thanks to all of you, your teachers and students, the state exceeded its goal of 20 million minutes of reading,” said Challenger seventh grade reading teacher Lisa Marie Gumm to her team and committee members at other schools after getting reports in from the local and state educators as well as kudos from various officials.

“Way to go Lee County administrators, teachers and students,” she said.

Gumm was just one the members of a special committee for the project at the school.

“Challenger Middle School’s reading department recently celebrated literacy all week long,” she said, after providing the update.

The goal was to accumulate 1 million minutes of reading for those who participated.

“On the Monday, students at CMS, along with many other students throughout the great state of Florida, participated in a school-wide 20 minutes of reading.”

On that Tuesday, the cafeteria was transformed into the “Booketeria.”

“Students then brought their books to lunch with them and discussed what they were reading with their fellow classmates. Wednesday brought community members, as well as internal faculty into the classrooms to read stories the students.”

Some prominent members of the community and special visitors included Miracle Baseball Team’s Savannah Martin of Community Relations and Gary Sharp, the announcer, as well as Katie Bartholomew from the public library.

“Thursday was a very special day. Students from Patriot Elementary School teamed up with Challenger Middle School reading classes. The elementary students brought their books with them and the middle school students read to them, a positive and fun experience for all.”

The final day consisted of special awards for reading on the school news.

“This was the first year that Challenger Middle put this together. We look forward to continuing the tradition and expanding their literacy activities in the future,” Gumm said.

Stuart Greenberg, executive director of the Just Read, Florida! Office out of Tallahassee, issued a statement.

“The Just Read, Florida! office would like to thank each and every one of you (Lee County Schools staff, teachers and students) for your help and support during Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! The week was a huge success and without each of you diving into the local and state events, we would not have experienced the fabulous success of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! again this year.

“Last year we exceeded our Million Minute Marathon goal of 10 million minutes with a grand total of over 16 million minutes, so this year we raised the bar and set the goal at 20 million minutes. Once again, the students of Florida have exceeded our expectations, and to date, we have recorded over 23 Million Minutes.”

He also noted the continued support of Florida’s First Lady, Ann Scott. Mrs. Scott attended several Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! events and he said, “It is obvious that she enjoys encouraging and motivating the students of Florida.

“Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! is becoming bigger and better every year and we are already excited about and planning for 2013. Thank you again for all your help and support and for making literacy and the children of Florida your priority!”

He also thanked Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Educational Partners.

“These Partners have helped spread the excitement for reading by providing the Take the Lead and Read Race Car as well as thousands of books to schools all across the state in support of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!”

Those partners include The Florida Lottery, Learning A-Z, Scholastic, Novachi, National Geographic/Cengage Learning, The Florida Education Foundation and Daytona International Speedway.

“Thank you for your support of this fun and motivating event.”

For more information, go to justreadflorida.com/literacyweek.asp.