Golden Oak Community School kicked off an exciting school day Thursday with a Lucky Leprechaun Pancake Breakfast.
More than 400 students lined up in front of the school at 7:45 a.m. with their green tickets in hand – their admission to the celebration. The pancake breakfast served as a reward to pupils who reached or exceeded their personal reading goals by accumulating points for each book they read.
The goal of the program, Accelerated Reader, is to improve students’ reading skills. Principal Gayle Abril said it’s working.
“Most of our students who participate in this program will make almost two years reading growth within one school year,” she said.
Eighty-seven percent of the school’s students met their goals during this session – one of three sessions planned for the entire school year.
The proof is seen in the test scores, too. Abril said Golden Oak Community School has the highest test scores in the entire Sulphur Springs Union School District.
“I have never in all my years seen anything that motivates kids as much as Accelerated Reader,” said Abril.
The pancake celebration breakfast was funded by Accelerated Reader sponsors, a group of parents and families who support the program and the school’s library.
“I know this school and the district do a really good job of enforcing that the kids read,” said parent volunteer and program sponsor Mike Bryne. “They really take that seriously, so we push that at home, too.”
Along with teachers, administrators and food service employees, parent sponsors spent the morning in special aprons pouring maple syrup onto silver dollar-sized pancakes.
“When you have a goal, it’s something to reach for,” said Ally, a fifth grader at Golden Oak. “You can set your goal higher each time, and it makes you smarter.”