After weeks of sheltering in place, first graders at Ponderosa Elementary School were finally reunited on Thursday with the stuffed Labradors they received from Sparklight at the beginning of the school year. Sparklight provided the stuffed animals as part of the “Learning with Lucky” reading program designed to develop and encourage reading achievement in young students.
Through the program, each first-grade student received a black or yellow stuffed Labrador reading buddy at the beginning of the school year along with a book log. They spent time with their reading buddies each day in their classrooms and worked together in teams on a variety of projects designed to encourage reading.
Students then earned incentives for their stuffed animals based on the number of books they read, including a dog collar, dog bed, dog tags, and more.
“The students were so excited to see their puppies and to be able to take them home,” said Nancy Crawford, a first-grade teacher at Ponderosa, after the students picked up their stuffed animals and supplies in a makeshift drive-through on Thursday. “While we were in school, the students looked forward to reading to the puppies every day and earning stickers for their sticker book, as well as earning book shaped dog tags as they met their fluency goals. I can imagine many of them continuing to read to their puppies at home!”
Sparklight has sponsored the “Learning with Lucky” program at Meridian-area elementary schools for the past 3 years.
“This reading program is so much fun for students, and we believe it will have a valuable and lasting impact for these first graders,” said Cheryl Goettsche, Sparklight General Manager. “We enjoy this opportunity to support learning in the Meridian community, and we’re happy to know that the students were able to reunite with their puppies to further encourage them to keep reading over the summer.”