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Obstacles to more reading time mastered

Book challenge culminates with outdoor challenge

Northview — A 15-station obstacle course served as the culmination of a reading challenge for nearly 100 Highlands Middle sixth-graders from the homerooms of teachers Marli Oliver, Keith Hillary, Julie Williams and Mikhaila Hart Knoper.

The entire challenge, which just wrapped up its third year, looks like this: Students log their reading minutes over two weeks. The five students with the most reading time from each class, or someone they designate, gets to participate in a relay obstacle course. The prize: a popcorn party read-in for their entire homeroom.

Among the four classes, the combined reading time this year was a whopping 31,627 minutes, 527 hours and seven minutes, or nearly 22 days straight. Williams’s class, with the most logged time, read a combined 13,642 minutes, or 227 hours and 22 minutes. 

Their top students, Milo McKay and Liam Scholton, each read for 1,330 minutes — more than 22 hours. 

“I didn’t even have to try,” Milo said. “I just really like to read.”

For Carlena Medina, the challenge provided a chance to push herself to read more chapter books to help boost her homeroom’s overall score. “I usually read graphic novels,” she said. 

Read more from Northview: 
Observe, encourage, bond
Field school adds sixth-graders

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio


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