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March 24 2005 Extra Credit
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March 24, 2005

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For the Love of Reading

The following are excerpts from an article in today’s Winona Daily News (MN) highlighting students’ achievement of reading goals at a Dakota, Minnesota charter school. This achievement has resulted in improvements in their vocabulary and reading comprehension:

The following are excerpts from an article in today’s Winona Daily News (MN) highlighting students’ achievement of reading goals at a Dakota, Minnesota charter school. This achievement has resulted in improvements in their vocabulary and reading comprehension:

"It’s a dare you can imagine any young man taking. Staying up past your bed time on the roof of your school. Tossing the ball around and acting fearless. Darin Shepardson and Carl Christensen spent the night on top of Dakota Area Community School, and didn’t even get in trouble with the principal. But then again, Shepardson is the director of the charter school.

"As an incentive to get his students to achieve reading goals, Shepardson agreed to sleep on the roof and also let students shave his head. … True to his word, Shepardson and a co-worker slept Tuesday night on the roof in a three-person tent dressed in hunting and snowmobile gear. … ‘Shave his head!’ the students screamed later Wednesday in the school gym. The top reader in each class got a turn making Shepardson nearly bald."

"Besides the rewards, the reading program bore educational dividends. In a six-month period, students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension scores on the Iowa Basics tests rose substantially, Shepardson said.

"Now he just has to think of next year’s stunt. Kissing a pig — not a bad idea, he said. Eating a worm — now that would be gross. ‘But for the love of reading I might,’ he said."

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Last Modified: 08/14/2013