San Diego — March 21, 2016 — Students in Mrs. Margaret Conlon’s 5th-grade class at Spuyten Duyvil School P.S. 24 in New York City did it again by taking first place in the second week of a month-long reading marathon by posting nearly 22,000 minutes of reading in just seven days. Two other classes – Eileen Wickard’s 6th grade class from Palisades Middle School in Kintnersville, Penn., and Lindsay Sims 3rd grade class at Julian Newman Elementary School in Athens, Ala., – placed second and third, respectively with a combined total of more than 6,500 minutes. To date, more than 1,541 schools in all 50 states have logged more than 18 million minutes of reading during the month of March.
Developed by Learn2Earn, Whooo’s Reading is a platform that makes reading fun by giving students in grades K-8 the power of choice, allowing them to read fiction or nonfiction material while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives. It also encourages students to improve specific standards-aligned reading and writing skills and become more confident in writing for authentic audiences, including classmates and family members.
Classes must log their reading every single day to win one new Owl Accessory each week—these accessories are used to customize their unique Owlvatar. A national leaderboard is keeping tally of the minutes read and students can keep track of their progress when they log into their personal accounts. At the end of March, the top three classes, along with the school that logs the most minutes, will receive Nook reading tablets to raffle off amongst eligible students.
“The momentum is building and those students at P.S 24 are reading rock stars for the second week in a row,” said Raphael Menko, co-founder of Whooo’s Reading. “We continue to believe that our platform, unlike others, is ideal for motivating students to read because it puts the power of choice—selecting what they want to read – in their hands and because it’s fun. That seems to bear witness in light of more than 18 million minutes of reading having been logged in a little more than two weeks.”
Currently, school districts such as Denver Public Schools, Temple City Unified School District, Lowndes County School District and Wissahickon School District, along with more than 37,800 teachers across the nation are using the platform; with students completing more than 200MM minutes of reading. Previous research showed that students who used Whooo’s Reading consistently for a year significantly increased the text complexity of the books they chose, as determined by Lexile measures.
To compete in the 31 Million Minutes Challenge, students’ school or teacher must be using Whooo’s Reading. Teachers and students interested in registering can go to Whooo’sReading.org. Participants can use #31MillionMinutes to share the progress their classes and schools are making.
Learn2Earn is a young startup company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. Unlike other reading or fundraising programs, their service is child-centric rather than educator-centric, meaning everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it, on making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. In the area of fundraising, they offer something that most fundraising companies don’t: an educational platform for schools to use to raise money. Students aren’t selling; they’re improving their reading skills. For more information, visit https://www.learn2earn.org
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