For students to be good readers, they must be encouraged to read, read, read! To this end, students in Grades 1-6 participate in the Accelerated Reader program. Accelerated Reader is a widely used computerized reading program that is designed to motivate students to read, thereby improving their comprehension and vocabulary, raising their reading levels, and improving their test scores.
In the program, the students select and read a book. Their teachers help them choose books that are of interest to them and that are at their independent reading levels as determined by their scores on the STAR Reading Test.
After reading the book, the students take a comprehension test on the book on a computer in their classroom. The tests are multiple choice questions based on the information from the book. Students earn points for correct answers and the score earned is immediately displayed. The computer keeps track of the students' accumulated points. After each test the student takes, a report is generated that contains valuable information about reading levels of the books, success on the tests, rates of comprehension, numbers of books read and number of points earned. We are very fortunate at PHPS to have access to all the many thousands of AR tests that the Renaissance Learning Company offers.
Acknowledgment of our students’ efforts and successes in the Accelerated Reader program is a fun part of our school life at PHPS. With great thanks to our PHPS Parent Club, our students visit the AR Store twice a month. Students are allowed an opportunity to browse the store and spend the points they have accumulated to purchase a variety of items. While “reading is its own reward,” the AR Store seems to increase excitement about the program and provide a “fresh supply” of motivation.
Students are further motivated as they accumulate points by becoming members of different point clubs. Membership in a point club is rewarded with a special point club button, a certificate presented at the monthly Citizenship Assembly, their name being posted on the AR Wall of Fame outside the school office and a special reward. On Awards Day, the students who have earned the most points during the year in grades 1-3 and 4-6 will receive a special award.
The Accelerated Reader Program is a valuable adjunct to our core reading program at PHPS. It aids us in realizing our goal for our students of continuous growth of their reading skills and ultimately, their development of a lifelong love of reading. We encourage all students to enthusiastically participate in this program.