Flinders’ Accelerated Readers aim for 100 million words

Students from Years 3 – 6 at Matthew Flinders Anglican College in Buderim are close to achieving their collective goal to read 100 million words as part of the College’s Accelerated Reader Program.

Head of Primary School, Trudi Edwards said the students had already clocked up 70,939,071 words read…and counting!

“Daily reading is essential in order to develop fluency, comprehension and what we refer to as reading endurance, which is the ability to maintain comprehension over increasingly longer texts,” Trudi said.

“As a school strongly committed to evidence-informed instruction, we have embraced the Accelerated Reader Program after our review of research indicates that it can improve student reading achievement significantly,” she said.

“The aim is to make personalised learning for each student engaging, enriching and accessible.”

The AR Program forms part of Flinders’ wider commitment to strong literacy development in the Primary School years with many activities and programs to support reading and boost learning.

“A wonderful example of our commitment to promoting and celebrating reading, along with developing each student’s character through serving others, is our College’s recent ‘Read for Change’ charity fundraiser,” Trudi said.

“In just seven days, 250 of our Primary School students read hundreds of books and raised over $14,000 in donations,” she said.

“These funds will help support two children Flinders’ Primary School sponsors through World Vision, support our local SunnyKids charity for families in need, and assist a range of other charities and initiatives.”

“Challenges such as this further promote reading and assist students in reaching their AR goals.”

The AR Program enables our students to choose from a vast number of books in the library which are suited to their current level of reading development.

The books vary in length, difficulty and text type and, upon completing a book, students complete quizzes which monitor their comprehension.

“The aim is to challenge students to set reading goals, work hard towards attaining them, and to read outside of their comfort levels and beyond their favoured genres or authors,” Trudi said.

“From our students’ perspective, they see the AR Program as a positive, goal-based activity to challenge and motivate them to devour books consistently and to regard themselves as confident readers.

“Research also tells us that confident readers make confident learners, and that if you identify as a passionate reader at a young age, then you will carry this positivity and thirst for knowledge through your entire schooling and life beyond school.

“From our teachers’ perspective, the program personalises learning and provides them with valuable feedback and data so they can continue to guide and support each student’s reading development.

“The program also calculates the number of words read in each book, which means that as a school we can celebrate our students each time they read a million words through a Millionaires Morning Tea or Luncheon.

“Such occasions go a small way to further developing a rich culture of reading at Flinders.

“This year, our students in Years 3 - 6 have read over 70 million words and counting, and we hope to break the 100 million target by the end of Term 3.

“We know that developing effective reading habits and competencies is critical, particularly in Primary School, and our Accelerated Reader Program is one part of a comprehensive reading program at Flinders which enhances our students’ motivation and comprehension.”

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