Rising Readers

GTES - Top Readers 2015 - Barnes Noble - Students leave with bags of books

Rising Readers:  This exciting initiative was introduced in September 2011 to encourage students to read more and to recognize their reading achievements when they reached the reading goals set by their media specialists, teachers and principals through their reading incentive programs.

Students “earn” a new book – called book awards – throughout the year to take home and they get to personally choose their new book from a wide variety donated by K is for Kids. Kids are building their own personal libraries at home and are proud to see the treasures they are collecting and awards they are earning.

End-of-the-Year Top Rising Reader Book Awards:

The is K is for Kids’ reading program most popular with principals, educators, and parents – and especially with the young honorees!

In 2016, 1200 students in 27 Collier County public schools were honored with book awards as “top” readers or top rising readers at their school – books many got to choose themselves with the help of their teachers or media specialists.

HISTORY: Rising Readers began in a fun way for students:

K is for Kids sponsored a pep rally for students by their media specialist at Golden Terrace Elementary-Intermediate in Naples.  Media specialist Tiffany “TJ” Weeks dressed up as a super hero! K is for Kids’ founder Karen Clawson was there, cheering the third, fourth and fifth graders to “Power Up with Reading”.  Each student who pledged to read a book within the time set by Mrs. Weeks had the opportunity to choose a new book to take home and keep, compliments of Rising Readers.

"Power Up With Reading" Pep Rally held at Golden Terrace Elementary School by media specialists Tiffany Weeks

Focus School – Golden Terrace Intermediate and then Primary too!

Golden Terrace Elementary-Intermediate continues to be the focus school for Rising Readers and the results have proven promising:  TJ has reported a heightened interest in reading, larger numbers of students participating in reading incentive programs, and a dramatic increase in the number of books being checked out by students.  This is significant because many of the children are from families where English is not the first language spoken in the home, plus the majority are enrolled in a lunch assistance program — books are not a luxury parents can afford to buy for their children.

By 2012-13, Rising Readers had expanded its program at Golden Terrace to encompass the needs of the Primary school too.  In January 2013, to launch K is for Kids’ literacy month, the Foundation arrived at the school with a bookmobile and every student got to climb onboard and choose a new book!


Golden Terrace Intermediate's Meda Specialist Tiffany Weeks with students at K is for Kids' Big Book Giveaway. Photo by Brigitte Papita, K is for Kids' student spokesperson and FGCU intern!

Golden Terrace Intermediate’s Meda Specialist Tiffany Weeks with students at K is for Kids’ Big Book Giveaway. Photo by Brigitte Papita, K is for Kids’ student spokesperson and FGCU intern!







K is for Kids’ end-of-the-year Top Readers Awards was expanded also – with a field trip of GTES Intermediate’s top readers to Waterside Shops’ California Pizza Kitchen, the Apple store, and Barnes & Noble:  http://www.kisforkids.org/uncategorized/top-readers-enjoy-unique-field-trip-to-apple-store-more/

K4K - GTE Waterside

K4K - GTE WatersideK4K - GTE Waterside

K4K - GTE WatersideK4K - GTE WatersideK4K - GTE Waterside

Students at another school – Sabal Palm Elementary – also were recognized as Top Readers in 2013 during their Literacy on the Lawn event: Florida Gulf Coast University (aka “Dunk City”) Men’s Basketball player Eric McKnight appeared on behalf of K is for Kids to congratulate winners of the “battle of the books”:  http://www.kisforkids.org/news/dunk-citys-eric-mcknight-meets-with-students-at-sabal-palm-elementary/



K is for Kids launched its literacy month by taking celebrations out to children in Immokalee at Farm Workers Village. Hosted by the Collier County Housing Authority Land, students from the local elementary school and their families enjoyed a barbecue, bounce house and cotton candy. Four authors joined K is for Kids, reading their stories and signing complimentary books for participants. Our teen volunteers offered face painting, too. Every child got to choose from the 1,000 books on hand, collected throughout the holidays to achieve the goal of ringing in the New Year with new books for the kids!


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