Lost Art: Reading as a pastime
Matt Knott, the science teacher on Team 8 White at Kings Junior High, has always made a unique request on his student’s class supply sheets. He asks that kids bring a book or some kind of reading material to class with them that they can turn to when there’s a lot of downtime.
Why? Knott says it’s all part of an program he came across from a previous Language Arts teacher. The goal? Teachers simply want their students to “get caught reading.” Along with Team 8 White Language Arts teacher Nicole Hindersman, the two developed a plan to reward their students for silent reading.
“One way found to encourage reading is through the use of persuasive writing. Typically at the beginning of the year, and sometimes after winter break, students will write two letters each to a famous person or company asking for them to donate items we can raffle off in a silent auction at the end of the school year,” Knott explained.
This is where RAP (Reading As a Pastime) points come in handy. The more points a student has accumulated by their teacher seeing them open up a book in class, the more points they have to put towards an item they really want to win in the auction.
Knott has been doing this program with his students for over five years now, and has seen students receive exciting responses back to their letters. In years past, items have included a giant sandal, gift cards, signed Reds and Bengals gear, Michael Jordan apparel, even book series donated by authors themselves.
Sabina Mukhitdinova, an eighth grader participating in Reading As a Pastime wrote to OPI and star, Cameron Dallas, in hopes of getting a response.
“They didn’t respond back yet,” Mukhitdinova said. “But, I’m really hoping that OPI sends nail polish so I can bid on it. I’m also waiting on Cameron Dallas to send sweatshirts. The coolest items by far are the t-shirts and bracelets a famous YouTuber sent. I really want to bid on those.”
Mukhitdinova also shared how she thinks Reading As a Pastime is not only great for encouraging reading, but friendly competition as well because everyone is competing to get the biggest and best items back from whoever they wrote to.
The auction will take place during the last week of school and students will enjoy a fun time with food while they bid on the items they’ve had their eyes on all year long.
By Madison Lunsford