- July 4, 2012
Kiwanis READS! has returned for its second summer reading challenge, hosted by the Ormond Beach Kiwanis Club, following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. This year, the program is supported by Backers 4 Books, which enables supporters, using the Givebacks app, to receive cash back every time they shop, as well as helping to fund books to be donated to students in Ormond Beach.
The Kiwanis Club is a 100-year-old international organization that promotes the interests of children. The Ormond Beach Kiwanis Club focuses specifically on providing books to local students.
In the state of Florida, students have fallen behind in school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2016 to 2019, the number of Volusia County third graders who achieved a 3 or above on the Florida Standards Assessment English Language test was between 56% to 58%. In 2022, the number dropped to 51%.
Now more than ever, the future is dependent on today’s youth to maintain good grades and begin their path to success in adulthood, said Dillon Kalkhurst, president of the Ormond Beach Kiwanis Club, and a founding developer of Givebacks app.
“We are sponsoring Ormond Beach Elementary School and providing all 325 students with a $15 reading certificate,” he said. “Each one of the students is going to be able to enter the Scholastic Book Fair with $15 to spend.”
The Scholastic Book Fair took place May 16, in the Ormond Beach Elementary library.
“There was a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation for the summer to get here so they could get started,” said Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington, who attended the book fair. “The teachers went through all the details of how it's all going to work.”
The Kiwanis READS challenge involves up to 20 minutes of reading per day for five days, for the 10 weeks of summer vacation, or 50 reading sessions.
A website has been created for friends and family members of the students to make a reading pledge for them, such as $1 per reading session.
At the end of the summer, all money collected from the pledges will be donated to the Ormond Beach Elementary library. The proceeds will go toward purchasing a wider array of library books. The funds can also help teachers buy supplies and books for their classrooms.
“And then, the biggest excitement was when they brought up Craig Frick,” Partington said.
Frick, owner of a new local ice cream shop, Neighborhood Scoops, attended the book fair to offer a tasty incentive. If Ormond Beach Elementary students meet their school goal, Frick will reward the students with an ice cream party, full of delectable toppings, such as gummy bears, chocolate chips and sprinkles.
Students who have demonstrated outstanding performance following the reading challenge will be eligible to receive a year of free ice cream, courtesy of Neighborhood Scoops, which equates to about one trip per week.
To participate in Backers 4 Books, visit https://backers4books.memberhub.gives/summerchallenge.