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Hazelwood's Youth Readers Soar

Hazelwood youth took the challenge to heart and read thousands of minutes as part of the City of Hazelwood's "Reading is Elementary" program.

Ten Hazelwood youth recently took a summer challenge to heart reading for thousands of minutes during the summer session of the 's "Reading is Elementary" program.

Children who accumulated the greatest number of minutes reading books for the whole year were recognized at the August 17 Hazelwood City Council meeting.

"The Reading is Elementary program is a reading incentive program for kindergarten through fifth-grade students," said Hazelwood Community Enrichment Commission staff liaison Pam Reynolds. "Every time they read 300 minutes they submit a report to me and at the end of the reading session I draw out winners and they get a pizza party in the spring at the , and in the summer a pool party at ."

Hazelwood students that participated in the program kept track of their reading minutes from September 2010 to July 2011.

Hazelwood Community Enrichment Commission sponsors the program in partnership with the .

The McClain siblings consisting of Elysia, Noah and Elysse read for more than 8,000 minutes. They along with Joshua Brauer and six other Hazelwood students, marched up in front of a large crowd of residents and council members to accept recognition for the accomplishment.

Although Joshua was more excited to meet the Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson than to get his recognition, asking the mayor to sign the cast of his broken arm during his photo op.

"It'll make it heal quicker, right?" the Mayor asked him jokingly.

There are three sessions of the program in the fall, winter/spring and summer. Any child interested in participating can pick-up a registration form at the .

For every 300 minutes of reading, they earn $1 credit toward the recreation program of their choice. All registration forms for the fall program will be entered into a drawing for a pizza party on December 2. The deadline for submitting forms for consideration is November 18. Ten winners will be chosen. 

"This is the one thing that makes it feel worth-while to be an elected official," Robinson said. "We get to the kids come out with smiling faces and we're encouraging them to read. It's a great program."

“READING IS ELEMENTARY” TOP 10 WINNERS OF THE SUMMER:

1. Julia Makarsky – 9,604 minutes
2. Shelby Schulz – 7,528 minutes
3. Rusty Conley – 3,845 minutes
4. Elysia McCain – 3,649 minutes
5. Kellen Brixey – 3,365 minutes
6. Geoffrey Hopping – 3,028 minutes
7. Elysse McClain – 2,888 minutes
8. Noah McClain – 2,080 minutes
9. Joshua Brauer – 1,815 minutes
10. Alexander Holmes – 1,330 minutes

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