Readers Are Leaders challenges fourth-graders in Staten Island’s public, parochial and private schools to read a minimum of six books at grade level or above during a five-week period and submit a report on their favorite book. Each school chooses one "Exceptional Reader" to receive an award in May. As a partner program, we are challenging first-graders with Readers Are Leaders Jr.
The students participating this year will become members of an exclusive club: Since the inception of Readers are Leaders 24 years ago, more than 115,000 Staten Island students have read 690,000 books – that equals 26 BILLION words.
“I want to reiterate why we are taking up this challenge,” said PS 31 Principal Daniel Singleton to his wide-eyed students during an assembly in the New Brighton school’s auditorium. “Reading is very important. Your teachers talk about it all the time. It’s something that we need to use. It’s a way of communication. So, we as the adults want to give you opportunities to practice a skill that’s going to be a lifelong skill for all of you.”
At the assembly, Magician Mike Lane wowed the students – and us, too: He made a ketchup bottle disappear and turned a pitcher of orange juice back into an orange. Another special guest joined us: Scooter the Holy Cow, the mascot of the Staten Island Yankees. He accepted a challenge of his own: A dance-off with Principal Singleton. Dancing to “I Gotta Feeling,” Scooter clearly had the better moves.
Thanks to our sponsors: Barnes & Noble, the Staten Island Yankees, Magician Mike Lane and Staten Island CTV.
We hope this challenge inspires a lifelong love of reading and learning for all of Staten Island’s students!