Officer Grace McCallum reads the book "Officer Buckle" to Chatfield Elementary School students during the March 21 reading blitz.  SUBMITTED PHOTO
Officer Grace McCallum reads the book "Officer Buckle" to Chatfield Elementary School students during the March 21 reading blitz. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Chatfield elementary students have logged 65,000 hours and they're still counting each and every step.

After all, literacy and adventure await!

"We've done around 65,000 hours of reading this year - 550 students times 125 hours is 68,750 - and we held a reading blitz this past Friday, March 21, to help students reach the goal of 800 steps by the end of the year," explained Elissa Johnsrud, Chatfield Elementary's Action 100 reading specialist. "They get 10 steps, or two and a half hours' worth of reading on these days. It is a fun way to encourage and motivate the students."

Johnsrud said the annual Action 100 reading blitz included visits from guest readers from the Chatfield community who "talked about how reading is important in their jobs."

Guest readers joining students for a good book during Friday's blitz included the Post-Bulletin's Randy Chapman; Chatfield Police Officer Grace McCallum; parent and nurse Kris Pearson; parent and author Rachel Schieffelbein; parent and local photographer Laura Lanning; Chatfield Superintendent Ed Harris; Rochester Honkers generals Dan Litzinger and Meg Fogarty; KROC deejay Troy Dunkin; Y105 deejay Tom Garet and Chatfield Public Library director Monica Erickson.

Additionally, students who had read 500 steps during February, which was "I Love to Read Month," made a big difference for the entire school because they earned an indoor carnival.

"Everyone got to come to the carnival. Our goal for February's 'I Love to Read Month' was 90 percent of our students at 500 steps, or 125 hours," Johnsrud explained. "It is always fun to celebrate students' hard work and success. When students set and reach a goal, it is great to recognize that. Students were jumping in bouncy houses, playing games and having lots of fun."

Action 100 has helped students build confidence about their reading skills - even students who might not be reading at grade level.

"In our second year of Action 100, the routine is more established," she added. "Students and teachers know what to expect and the goals were known right from the start."

Johnsrud said the program has a tiered system of support for students who are not at grade level to ensure that the staff are working daily to help them close the gap and get to grade level.

"Students are matched to reading texts at their level so everyone has success no matter what level they are reading," she added. "Students and staff continue to work very hard through Action 100. Students receive power goals and work through them during conferences and at home to develop the skills that will get them to the next level of reading."

Johnsrud is pleased with the results Action 100 has given students since its inception at the beginning of the 2012 school year.

"We will continue the program next year," she added. "We feel if you want to get better at reading, you have to practice reading at your independent reading level. We have seen some great growth in our first year and a half of the program."