West Glacier School students put away their tablets, shut off their phones and turned off their televisions and picked up books last week as part of the school’s REDA (Read, Earn, Donate, Achieve) challenge.
For four days each year, West Glacier School challenges its students to read as many minutes as they can in a four-day period. Students get friends as family to pledge to donate a certain amount of money for every minute that they read, with the money going to a local charity. This year’s proceeds, $1,200, went to the food bank.
“It’s a great program and we always seem to raise at least $1,000, but last year we raised $2,500 to help out the Blackfeet Tribe during the harsh winter they were going through,” organizer Krista Booher said. “A couple of the kids this year talked about how they almost had to go to the food bank because their parents work for the government and they weren’t getting paid. I think the program really hit home with some of the kids this year.”
This year was the eighth for the program and 33 students read more than 10,000 minutes with 25 opting for the full REDA challenge, in which they give up all screen time for four days. For their reading time to count towards their REDA total, students had to read outside of school or during recess, reading done during school did not count.
Six grader Erica Burguiere read the most minutes this year with 1,190 while fourth grader Nalani Rivera read 1,024 minutes. Wren Rosenkoetter was the top kindergarten reader at 250 minutes, Jack Montiel led all first graders with 300, second grader Lily Aveson read 515 minutes, third grade was led by Phebe Smiley at 430 minutes and fifth grader Eleanor Smiley read 825 minutes.
First grader Fiona Lee raised $170 to lead all donations while second grader Chance Pfeifle and fifth grader Greyson Pfeifle each raised $90. Fourth grader Mikayla Hebert raised $82.30, kindergartner Luke Lorona raised $71 and third grader Liam Byrd raised $50.