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Thanks for your suggestions.  My TARGET was for a celebration to end our
non-rewards- based reading incentive program.  (See original post  at end
of this message.)

We've decided to do a book parade and have ice cream sundaes on the Friday
of National Library Week.  The book parade will be children wearing
tagboard representations of bookcovers.  Each class/grade level would spend
an hour of the day making their books while listening to a book on tape
(I'll get a bunch through interlibrary loan)  Then, they will parade
through hall to eat ice cream sundaes in the cafeteria, possibly served by
staff members dressed up as book characters.

Here are the suggestions sent by LM_netters:
* Ice cream sundaes are one of our favorites, or banana splits.  The whole
school could have them out in the yard, and you could probably get
volunteers to help with them:)  Raynette

*In our middle school, the students are happy with fairly small rewards and
we have found that not tying it to individual reading amounts keeps kids
from cheating or being harrassed for being bookworms. You could make it a
celebration with several different events and give prizes based on names
being drawn. The names could be entered for each thing the students
participate in. I put students names in each time they passed a Reading
counts test, or each time they filled out a book recommendation form. Then
the names drawn received $10.00 gift cert. to a local book store. We also
had a dress as your favorite Seuss character contest and the teachers chose
the winner. In the past we've given Oriental Trading Company type prizes
(very small and cheap) if you find one of the hearts or shamrocks (depending
on the time of year) that we've hidden in the books. You want the reading
itself to be the main reward so I would attempt to reward the whole group
with a party atmosphere - cupcakes for everyone for one thing, and small
individual prizes based on participation.  Val

*We just had a celebration for a reading incentive  program.
Our enrichment specialist booked two performers in our area that were great.
they sang fun songs such as Celebrate and YMCA.  At times the kids were
allowed to
 dance if asked by a teacher. they had a ball.The perfomers new the reason
for the celebration and talked about the importance of reading and praised
the kids
accomplishments. We did two assemblies-one K-3 and one 4-5. I believe the
cost was around $600.
 I also went to the PTSA to ask for assistance and they
     provided gift certificates to Barnes & Noble which we
     drew names from participating students (we had 2 per
     grade level).  I also drew names for a few books.  Jean

*We are doing free things as reading incentives.  We've been reading at
night (RAN) all year, as a school, and kids turn in cards each week.
Each child who reads all five nights and has the card signed by their
parents and turned in on time wins a free book (Scholastic -- we have a
pile of choices).  There are classroom winners too.  When we all read
10,000 books as a school, we'll get Pajama Day (Mr. Loyd, our principal,
has promised to come to school in his pajamas too).  It's a good incentive
-- they are into it!!   Maggi

*In the fall, when we started this reading incentive, I asked the 4th and
5th graders for their ideas.  Then they voted on 5 or 6 suggestions.  The
winning idea was to have a holiday party in April, when we return from
vacation.  We are a year round school and had the month of December off.
The principal will be Santa Claus.  Our PTO has paid for ice cream for
everyone and also bought a book for every student (500 enrollment).  The
books are sorted by grade level and wrapped in Christmas paper.  Since it
was a  school wide reading incentive we thought giving out books would help
to encourage more reading.  Kathi

*I have been at my school for 15 years and have tried every reward idea
under the sun.
Last year I hit on what I think will get me from now to retirement!  Last
year we read as
a reading community:  students, staff, parents, deaf community.  We
finished the program
in May by reading 2,001 books for the year 2,001.  We worked together and
met our goal.
We had a cook out for both lunch periods.  At the end of the first lunch
period, we hired
a limo to take 7 students and two staff members to an ice cream parlor
about 15 minutes
from our school.  While this group was getting ice cream, the limo came
back and picked up
the second group of 7 students and 2 staff and took this group to get ice
cream and
returned to collect the second  group  within a two hour period.
We paid the limo driver $75.00 an hour for a two hour period. The driver
came in a black
tuxedo and silver sunglasses. The kids were ecstatic!  When I asked the
kids what reward
we should shoot for this year, they all wanted the limo ride again! The
teachers were
pleased because it was the end of the year and we'd taken students off
their hands for an
hour or so.  I have an 8 year plan going.  This year we are reading across
North America,
the next year we'll read across South America, then Europe, etc.  If I am
still around
once we've finished the 8 year program, I plan to shave my head bald and
donate the hair
to the wig-making program for cancer patients!  (Yes, I know I am crazy,
but one must have
a few goals in life.) I have already started growing my hair for one year
and it's half
way down my back. I have a lot of nerve.  I am a 53 year old woman who has
seen better
days!   Ada

*When we reached our reading week goals, my student leaders (grades
6 and 7) voted that everyone in the school should have an ice-cream party --
it was great -- the kids formed an assembly line and sent trays of sundaes
of to each classroom -- and it cost less than $100 to feed 400 kids (and
teachers)...they also voted to use the rest of the money that was set aside
for this to
frame the poster that had been designed for the week (by the school
secretary) and to put bookplates in the books chosen for purchase with the
remaining funds -- the bookplates will indicate reaching our goal!  It was
great to have them make those decisions!  Sharon

*  One year my children's school did a similar program. When they reached
their goal we had an ice cream party during their lunch periods for dessert.
Because they went beyong the goal the principal served the ice cream on
roller blades. The kids loved it. Carol

*One of the most popular incentive items we came up with were magnets.  We
had a year long thematic reading incentive and students who met the goals
each marking period received a magnet related to the theme.  That year it
was Oceans of Opportunity with catch phrases of "Crab onto a good
book" (crab holding an open book in it's pincers);  "Octopi your mind with
a good book" (illustration of an octopus holding different media
formats in each tenacle) etc.  We ran color copies of sheets of the logo
for the marking period and mounted them to chipboard, laminated the sheets
and cut them apart into individual magnets.  We then glued a small piece
of magnet to the back of each.  Years later they are still treasured
refrigerator magnets in many homes throughout the community.  M. Ellen

Your suggestions please.
The Program:
Our students (and students in our partner school across the state) are
attempting to read  20,000 books.  Our set-up is really not incentive-based
but goal-based - we haven't even told the children what will happen if we
reach our goal. (That's the advice I'm seeking from you.)

The facts:
The students  will reach the goal during National Library Week.  They are
just beginning to wonder "What if...."  We want it to be student-level,
interactive, easy (of course) ... and we have a bit of money to
spend.--approx. $600.  There are 600 students at our school.

What should we do?

I had thought about an author/speaker but we've already had Kate DiCamillo
visit this year.  (We were SO lucky to have her come. She's great!!!)
AND, a speaker might not be viewed by students as a CELEBRATION or REWARD.
Marcia Dressel, Librarian
Osceola Elementary and Intermediate Schools
250 Tenth Ave E
Osceola, WI 54020-0128 USA

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