The school won the Tartan Elementary School Division of the 2012 reading challenge. Students read 38,260 books from November to April, announced Const. Laura Cormier with the Queens RCMP detachment.
In 2007, students at the school read 5,000 books. The following year, students read 20,000.
“And every year since then, our numbers have gone up,” said Const. Cormier to students seated in the gym.
She also spoke with students about the importance of learning how to read well and getting an education.
“That’s what we prove in the Wow Reading Challenge – that you can read any time, any place, and succeed in life,” she said.
Haley Croft, a Grade 3 student, won prizes for being one of the school’s top readers. She read 545 books. The other top reader was Grade 6 student Jonathan Frederick, who read 601 books.
Wickwire’s winning class was Lynnette Kean and Zoë Winsor’s Grade 3 students, who read 5,171 books.
At the end of the assembly, students who read more than 50 books chose a free book to take home.
“Sixty-five per cent of the men and women that sit in our jails cannot read,” said Const. Cormier, emphasizing the importance of literacy.
The challenge started seven years ago at a school in Pictou County.
“Now it’s spread to schools around the world,” said Const. John Kennedy, founder of the Adopt-a-Library Literacy program. “Schools can register and compete against one another for the title of world champion in reading.”
Const. Kennedy says the concept behind Wow is to get books into children’s hands and tell them how important reading is. The idea is to help children understand if they learn to read well they have better chances of going to college or university and getting jobs.
This year, 112 schools from as far as South Africa participated in the Elementary School Division. The more than 21,000 students read more than one million books, says Const. Kennedy.
“We turned literacy into a sport by creating this literacy competition,” he says about how the challenge developed.
Tim Hortons helps to sponsor the program in Liverpool by donating prizes.
“They did an awesome job. Good bunch of kids,” said Const. Kennedy about Dr. John C. Wickwire’s students.