Johnstown students take on 10K book challenge


JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the decision to shift to full remote learning being discussed in New York State, one local school is getting ahead of the curve in an attempt to keep their kids reading.

Pleasant Avenue Elementary in Johnstown is shifting its 10,000 Books program to an all-virtual platform. Held monthly, parents would normally be able to join their children at school for an in-person reading session. The program now will be held on every second Tuesday of the month through Zoom and will feature two mystery guest speakers, who will join the students and family members online to read.

The program aims to engage students and their family members into reading 10,000 books throughout the school year and offers each student options at their own reading level.

Each sessions lasts about 30 minutes and will include the book readings as well as online activities and events that would normally happen in school.

Principal Cory Cotter said the decision to move to online sessions did not come lightly, but she said participation has been at an all-time high and holding the sessions virtually will make it easier for students and staff members to stay involved.

“The participation was shocking — that we had over 103 students meet the ten-book goal for the month of November and even more participate,” she said. “We are looking forward to having probably close to 80 percent participation throughout the year. A big part of student success is engaging their families, so we wanted to make sure we had programs that still kept the relationship between students and families and teachers really strong.”

Students have already completed almost 3,000 books out of their goal of 10,000 for the year.

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