One million pages makes a lot of books.
Bonneville Elementary School in Orem has a goal to get students to read that many pages before school ends in May and is creatively motivating the children to reach that goal.Principal Bruce Wathen said the school has a monthly motivation theme.
"September's theme worked the best," Wathen said. Prominent people in the community were invited to read their favorite book to the children.
"We wanted to show the kids that teachers aren't the only ones who enjoy reading," Wathen said.
S. Blaine Willes, Orem mayor, read "The Littlest Bear" to several groups of children. They were all extremely well-behaved and attentive, he said.
"The program is wonderful to show children the significance of reading and that they need to be able to read and comprehend to perform and hold a job," he said. "It opens and broadens your view of life."
Stacey Corley, offensive back for the BYU football team, read "The Monster at the End of This Book," about Grover on Sesame Street.
He said he remembers his mother reading it to him when he was growing up and it stuck with him.
"It was great to be able to share the importance of reading with those kids," he said. "They had a goal and I wanted to help them reach it."
Corley said he ended up reading it to almost the whole school in about eight-minute shifts, but he enjoyed every minute of it.
Wathen said, "I think these people probably motivated the kids to read more than anything else we've done. Maybe we'll have to do it again."
October's theme was a "spy game." On Tuesday and Thursday nights Wathen would call students' houses and if they were "caught" reading they received a certificate for a free hamburger.
The names of the students' parents were also placed in a hat. At the end of the month, the school held a drawing and the winning parents were treated to dinner.
The parents need to feel involved, too, Wathen said.
There are also other incentives, he said. For each 100,000 pages collectively read, the school offers a prize.
For the first 100,000, every student in the school got a Popsicle, Wathen said. For 300,000, they got an extra recess. When they reach 400,000 pages there will be a drawing in each class for a free book.
"Right now, we are between 300,000 and 400,000 pages," Wathen said. "If we keep going the way we are, we will make our goal."
Wathen said he hopes they will reach the goal of helping children to enjoy reading rather than just reading.
Willes said, "There is nothing more significant for a child to learn than good reading and comprehension skills, because they will learn to act on what they comprehend."