Sometimes in life, it seems everything is about the race. Whether it’s a marathon, a Presidential primary or the last man on Survivor, the focus tends to be on the outcome rather than the journey.
However, there are some instances when it’s the journey that’s important, and the trophy is just the icing on cake of a pleasant and exciting trip. This is the case in ’s annual Readathon.
This reading contest was started over two decades ago by Paige Gage, a 2nd grade teacher at Colfax. Back then she was a mom at the school, and a big advocate of reading. Students kept a log and read as many books as they could in a set amount of time. They also asked sponsors to donate money to support them, and the funds helped pay for Colfax’s Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program in which students were able to choose their own book to keep.
This year students logged the number of minutes read rather than the actual number of books, and kindergartners were able to have parents read to them. This puts fast and slower readers on an even playing field, and encourages students to really enjoy the books they choose rather than just race through them.
As an extra incentive, Colfax’s principal traditionally performs a crazy stunt chosen by the students if the school as a whole reaches their goal by reading a set number of minutes. Joanie Freckmann, Colfax’s previous principal, kissed a pig, had snakes draped around her, ate a plate of snails, and spent the entire day on the roof during some of her Readathon stunts. Susana Gomez-Judkins, Colfax’s present principal, performed a rap song with two of the teachers one year. This year, if the students collectively read more than 250,000 minutes she has agreed to a sumo wrestling match with any teachers who have 100 percent Readathon participation in their class. The students ended up reading a total of 539,078 minutes, more than doubling their goal.
Winners were announced last week and were given trophies. All of the top three winners read over 6,000 minutes each.
"I told my mom and dad that this year I wanted to win first place,” said Tyler Ganus, a 4th grader who reached his personal goal and won 1st place in number of minutes read. “As soon as I made that decision, I sacrificed some of my activities, set my alarm to wake up earlier, and even missed some of my family dinners in order to read as much as possible. My mom taught me that when you want to win, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. So, that's what I did! When my name was called for winning first place, I felt very proud of what I did."
Second grader David Mudd was the top money earner. He gathered a huge number of sponsors who raised a total of $1,000.
“I love reading so I asked my friends and family to support me and 41 people did,” David said. “Next year I hope to more sponsors."
"Since I love to read, it was easy for me to read to almost 7,000 minutes," notes 2nd place winner Daniel Amiel, who is in the 3rd grade. “I got suggestions from my friends and the librarian at the public library and that kept me going. I read new books and it was a wonderful experience for me."
Fifth grader Payton Brown won 3rd place. “I was shocked, she said. “I worked hard, but I thought I’d be 2nd like last year.”
Emma Finch won 2nd place in kindergarten. She started reading the moment she woke up each morning and decided not to have any play dates until the Readathon was over.
Jasmine Garcia won a 2nd place trophy for 2nd grade and said that she was very proud of reading so many minutes. Her mother is Maribel Garcia, Colfax’s PTA Co-President, and Maribel was also in charge of this year’s Readathon.
A total of 247 students received special medals for reading over 1,000 minutes, including Readathon founder Paige Gage who kept her own reading log. 86% of the student body participated and 14 classrooms achieved 100% participation.
This year the Readathon raised $19,000 in sponsorships, which included 133 students who raised more than $100 each.
Here is a list of winners:
Schoolwide Winners – Reading:
1st Place – Tyler Ganus
2nd Place – Daniel Amiel
3rd Place – Payton Brown
Schoolwide Winners – Money Earned:
1st Place – David Mudd
2nd Place – Dru Reed
3rd Place – Thomas Schamm
Reading Winners by Class:
1st Place – Jasmine Hannah
2nd Place – Emma Finch
3rd Place – Laim Fine
1st Place – Julian Dohi
2nd Place – Sophie Hartwick
3rd Place – Lucy Zavala
1st Place – Ryan Salah
2nd Place – Jasmine Garcia
3rd Place – Justin Baiden
1st Place – Daniel Amiel
2nd Place – Nicole Abraham
3rd Place – David Elterman
1st Place – Tyler Ganus
2nd Place – Zoe Gillingham
3rd Place – Aura Eguizabal
1st Place – Payton Brown
2nd Place – Caden J. McDonough
3rd Place – Aidan Caplan
Room 11 (Ms. Haim – 3rd Grade) won for classroom with the highest average in minutes.
Room 29 (Mr. Lample –2nd Grade) won for top class earners.