Good morning: Dover students saluted for state READBowl title

By Mike Finney
Posted 5/18/22

DOVER — There were no spiked footballs or end zone celebrations.

But students at Fairview Elementary School were certainly excited when they took home state championship honors in the fifth annual READBowl global reading competition.

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Good morning: Dover students saluted for state READBowl title

Posted

DOVER — There were no spiked footballs or end zone celebrations.

But students at Fairview Elementary School were certainly excited when they took home state championship honors in the fifth annual READBowl global reading competition.

Participating students were honored for their work, while their seven teachers received congratulatory certificates from the city of Dover, at City Council’s meeting May 9.

Councilman Gerald Rocha introduced the enthusiastic group.

“Earlier this year, there was a former Super Bowl champion whose name is Malcolm Mitchell, an NFL player, who put forth a competition called the ‘READBowl,’” he explained. “The READBowl was conducted from Jan. 10, which was the day of the College Football National Championship, through Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 13).

“Within that time, there was a representative winner in all 50 states. And in the state of Delaware, our youth right here from Fairview Elementary read a total of 57,000 minutes, which was No. 1 in the state.”

Fairview teachers Eryn Bronson, Kseniya Kramer, Christine Cubbage, Kris King, Kristine Burger, Courtney Freebairn and Heather Doughtery kept track of the books and minutes their students completed throughout the contest.

To mark the kids’ achievement, City Council President Roy Sudler Jr. and Councilmen Andre Boggerty and David Anderson booked a pizza party for them.

“This (recognition) would not have happened if it hadn’t been for my friend and colleague ... from United Way of Delaware, Ken Livingston, who was approached about this,” Councilman Rocha said.

In total, this year’s READBowl had 56,195 participants, who read a total of 15,868,829 minutes.

The program is part of “Read With Malcolm,” an initiative designed to inspire kids to read and provide teachers a platform to motivate students toward doing so.

Since it started in 2018, more than 250,000 students — from pre-K through eighth grade — have competed in READBowl and have read for nearly 100,000,000 minutes collectively.

It’s all part of Mr. Mitchell’s vision.

He said that children with the lowest reading scores account for 65% of those who do not graduate from high school. The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income kids is to increase their access to printed materials and provide innovative and inclusive literacy programming that is virtually accessible, he added.

Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get three years more schooling than children from homes without them, the program reports; therefore, by introducing book ownership to under-resourced students, they are empowered to read to a brighter future.

Mr. Livingston, the director of Get Delaware Reading Wilmington, praised the collective work of the Fairview students.

“Mayor, council members, I just want to say thank you for allowing us to have this moment,” he said. “This was really all about these students right here from Fairview Elementary. Thank you to all the administration, the teachers, the students and also the parents.

“I just want to say congratulations again and please continue to read. I know that our schools up north will definitely be coming for that title next school year, so keep up the great work, and hopefully, we’ll be here again this time next year.”