Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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Take the lead to read

December 19, 2007

Jeff Foxworthy, host of the game show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?" should venture to Tonganoxie for an idea for a second show: "Can You Read More Than a Fourth-Grader or a First-Grader?"

At this month's Tonganoxie School Board Meeting, Superintendent Richard Erickson presented Distinguished Awards to fourth-grader Derek Rose and first-grader Blake Phillips.

Derek, as Erickson pointed out, actually is reading at a sixth-grade level and already has read some 300-page novels. His teacher is Kathy Powell.

Meanwhile, in the first grade, Blake is zooming through page after page of several books as well.

At the meeting, Erickson mentioned that Blake, who is in Jill Conrad's class, had read 142 books - average number for first-graders thus far is 40, Erickson reported.

Late last week, Blake's family reported that he now is up to a whopping 217 books this school year.

At the meeting, Erickson said this to the students: "Congratulations and keep up the good work."

We second those encouraging words.

Blake and Derek should be commended for their impressive accomplishments.

In addition, their reading capabilities should be an inspiration to all of us.

At the same time, it should be a bit of a kick in the backside - meaning that we all probably could read a bit more.

That doesn't mean that everyone needs to check out "The Grapes of Wrath" right now and finish it in a week.

However, we all likely could trade in a few hours of video games and television for some in-depth newspaper and magazine features or a short book.

However, if you want to be even more ambitious and go for a John Steinbeck novel, more power to you.

Whichever you choose, keep at it.

Your brain will thank you.

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