By Dianne Girmus
The Nebraska Signal
A lucky group of Fillmore Central Elementary School students belongs to a prestigious organization, Breakfast Book Club, and is reaping many exciting rewards through it—free, nutritious breakfasts weekly, an additional opportunity to enhance their reading and thinking skills and being introduced to the enjoyment of book club membership that could shape future reading habits.
At the beginning of this current school year, FC third grade teacher Mrs. LaRaesha Kugel introduced an extra-curricular reading activity to her class—a book club held before school each Wednesday morning. A great incentive for them to join was a free, nutritious breakfast served during the event, prepared by the teacher. The idea was appealing to the students, as 20-25 students sign up and participate each month—the number depending on the name of the book chosen for that month. The club will run through May.
In her third year of teaching at FC, Kugel, 32, said the idea to do this came about as she was brainstorming ways that she could integrate reading in a fun way and also make it something that would be functional later in their lives.
“I decided to do this because reading has lost a lot of its joy with the fast-paced speed schooling has had to become. I wanted a chance to teach students that you can read for fun—not just as assignments,” Kugel said. “I was not a strong reader growing up and I was heavily influenced to read through incentives my family provided. I wanted to provide some form of incentive to reward students for being a part of the group.”
Recent studies show that more time is spent on-line and less time with the traditional media. Good reading skills are crucial for understanding complex issues and developing critical thinking skills. Students will have problems reading 800-page text books in college if they don’t stay in practice.