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Reading Project Benefits Others
Reading is fun, informative and, as some Dent Elementary fifth grade students recently found out, beneficial for others.

A program offered through Scholastic Book Clubs prompted the students in Leslie Mascitelli's Room 22 on the Dent campus to take their teacher's challenge and try to read 100 books in a specified time period, with 100 books then donated on their behalf to students in a needy area. In this case, the books went to students whose schools were damaged and are still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

"The kids have been working really, really hard on this," Ms. Mascitelli said.

So hard, in fact, that they not only reached the 100-book goal set by Scholastic, but doubled it and read a total of 200 books in the time period allowed.

"We started it in October and finished just before we went out on (holiday) break," Mascitelli explained, adding that it gave her students even more incentive to read. "I sent them (Scholastic) an email asking for specifics and they sent me a letter back."

They were recently notified that the 200 books would be donated to the schools in Louisiana impacted by Katrina.

"At first, they thought it was a really difficult goal," the teacher admitted. "But when they started working on it, they were energized ... they felt responsible for making a difference."

Trent Dadalt, 11, read about a half dozen books to help in reaching the goal.

"I like interesting books," he said. "Adventure books, any books are good."