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My Town Kentwood: Student readers eager to join 100 Point Club | Arts & Culture

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My Town Kentwood: Student readers eager to join 100 Point Club
My Town Kentwood: Student readers eager to join 100 Point Club

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies) —Students at Ridge Park Charter Academy read for fun, read to learn, and they read for a chance to join the esteemed 100 Point Club.

Three years ago, Library Technician Dawn Elliott had the idea to start a club that rewarded students in all grades for reading. Students can earn one or two points for each book and accelerated reading test they complete. Accelerated Reading (AR) is a computer-based program that quizzes a student on a book they have read to measure the level of understanding of the material.

“Our thought behind starting this club was to encourage and celebrate students that not only read, but also stretch their comprehension skills,” said Elliott.

Once the student hits the 100 mark for book and AR tests completed they are a member of the club for the school year. Club members receive a polo shirt and enjoy a small reward party every month. The parties consist of extra computer lab time, games, and a small treat such as ice cream.

“I like being in the 100 Point Club because I like feeling like I have made a big step in my reading progress,” said fourth-grade student Caleb Moon. Other students say they enjoy the recognition and getting to leave class for the parties.

The club’s popularity continues to grow each year as more students work to reach their 100 reading points. Students must start at zero when the school year begins and work their way to 100. Last year 135 students earned a membership; this year the club is already at 86 students and even welcomed its first first-grade student.

“This is in an opportunity to have students see firsthand that they can accomplish great things if they persevere,” said Elliot. “For many of our students, this is the first major accomplishment in their academic career.”

The 100 Point Club is a fun reading incentive that has even the youngest students excited to join, but the heart of the program is to encourage a lifelong love of reading. A sentiment shared by one student when asked why they like being in the club: “I really just enjoy reading, the shirt and parties are a benefit.”

Ridge Park Charter Academy is a free public charter school serving students in young 5s through eighth grade.