Canyon ISD students encouraged to drop technology and pick up a book

Teachers are finding themselves competing with the latest and greatest technology in the classroom. But a simply contest is bringing students back to the simply joy of reading books. Reeves-Hinger Elementary is part of the Canyon Independent School District. The school started a March Book Madness contest for third and fourth graders. The goal was to encourage students to put down technology and pick up a book. It's this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.

"We all know that we're competing with technology and even as adults it's a lot easier to pick up a device then read a book. So reading isn't the first choice for kids most to the time," said 3rd grade teacher, Liz Green.

Students for the month of March would read books, complete a summary of what the book was about and earn points. Once they reached ten points, that student's name was entered into a drawing for an iPad Mini. Then a name was drawn, and Austin Gilmore was announced as the winner of that iPad Mini. Like anyone would be, Austin was beyond excited.

"Because instead of going to the store and buying it you get it for free," said Gilmore. "Austin is one of the hardest working students I have ever had," said Mrs. Green.

His favorite books to read are the "Magic Tree House" series, with focus on the Revolutionary War.

"It's about Jack and Annie going on an adventure to go see the Revolution War," said Gilmore.

Mrs. Green said the contest was a great idea to help inspire students to get lost in a world of imagination. "They're finding a love for reading that they didn't know they had because they're starting and finishing books which is challenging for 3rd graders, they like to book hop. So the summary encourages them all to finish the books."

The classroom with the most points also won their teacher and iPad Mini as well. Mrs. Green was that winner.

"They did the work and so I want them to get to see the fruits of their labor, so we'll use it in class."

Experts say children of all ages need year-round access to books and increased reading motivation and this contest did just that. Both iPad Mini's were donated by the Education Credit Union.