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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Racine Reads: Dream Big! was developed as a holistic approach to literacy advancement.

RACINE, Wis., May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent study reported that the average elementary school student read 40 books(1) each school year, yet only 34 percent of students are deemed "proficient" in their reading level.(2) Local communities across the country are coming together to improve these statistics, and the city of Racine, Wis. led the charge by challenging its 10,000 local elementary school students to read one million books during the school year -- an average of 100 books per child. Students rose to the challenge, by more than quadrupling the national average, by reading 180 books per student and 1.8 million books in total.
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To further reward students for their participation and engagement, Racine Reads: Dream Big! announced two additional prizes to the runners-up. Trinity Lutheran and Mount Pleasant Renaissance were surprised when they each received $25,000, sponsored by SC Johnson, to update their school libraries. Individual classroom prizes were also given to Roosevelt, John Paul II Academy, and Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary, who received iPads, Kindles and gift cards, respectively.
The Numbers Tell the Tale
Response to Racine Reads: Dream Big! has been overwhelming; highlights include:
  • Number of classrooms that participated: 461
  • Number of students that participated: 10,008
  • More than 85% of classrooms in Racine participated in the program
  • All 36 Racine private, parochial and public schools participated in the program
  • Average books read per student: 180
  • More than 8,900 books read per day during the program
  • Racine Reads: Dream Big! donated more than 10,000 books to elementary students and school libraries throughout the program
  • More than 125 million pages read(3)
  • More than 10,000 books collected and donated to Racine Cops 'N Kids Reading Center
  • Circulation numbers for children's material at the Racine Public Library went up by nearly 25 percent in the first quarter of 2012
  • 2,000 pizzas given out at pizza parties to celebrate milestones (that's 16,000 slices!)
  • More than 650 stops by the city's bookmobile that was wrapped with a special Racine Reads message including the official "book-o-meter" that tracked the community's overall progress
About Racine Reads: Dream Big!Racine Reads: Dream Big! was developed as a holistic approach to literacy advancement. Children in the community were surrounded by reading in all aspects of their lives, from the classroom where teachers and principals were given program tool kits, to the community as a whole through author visits, live performances and readings and volunteer opportunities. To motivate and celebrate milestones, students were given rewards, like pizza parties, throughout the program.
The program reached more than 10,000 elementary school students in nearly 500 public, private and parochial classrooms across Racine. The Racine Reads: Dream Big! program is sponsored by SC Johnson and is a partnership with the Racine Public Library along with the City of Racine, Racine Elementary Schools, the Racine Civic Centre, Racine Literacy Council, Family Literacy of Racine, Cops 'N Kids, and Girls Inc.