About 300 schools across the country are competing in the Great Reading Games, a six-week audio-book contest for students with learning-related challenges. The Bridger Wildcats are now currently in 74th place, thanks to students like Owen, a third-grader whose reading has exploded since The Shadow Project brought the Learning Ally audio library and its 80,000 titles to his school last spring.
“I didn’t use to like reading so much,” said Owen. But now, his mom Julie says, “We fight at bedtime because he always wants five more minutes of reading!”
“Owen is bright and has a huge knowledge of the world, so the audio books are perfect for him,” said Bridger Speech Language Pathologist Betsy Shaughnessey, M.S., who uses the audio library for her 30 students.
Owen’s mom, Julie, said that audio books are providing an incredible entry into reading for her son. “Owen wouldn’t have access to these big, intriguing stories if he had to go page by page by himself,” she said. “Every night for half an hour he listens to Learning Ally.” Owen’s favorites include Harry Potter and The Lightning Thief, and he has logged more than 3,600 pages since last May.
Owen is also competing for his school’s Battle of the Books (BOB) team, a district-wide competition with students reading select books and then displaying their fact retention.
“Learning Ally is an amazing way for students to take a break when they’re overloaded in class,” said Betsy. “It is making students more successful and confident in their reading.”
Our congratulations as well to Rosa Parks Elementary, currently in 145th place, and Woodmere in 177th – exceptional showings for schools that have had the audio library a year or less. Great Reading Games ends March 2 with a webinar featuring Diary of a Wimpy Kid series author Jeff Kinney, and prizes for the top schools.