5th Grader challenges her school to read one million pages


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – “Reading is something that you need to know,” Harvey Dunn Elementary 5th Grader Tenley Jacobs said.

You don’t have to read between the lines to see that Tenley Jacobs loves literature.

“Reading is fun too, and it’s something that… can definitely be an impact in a lot of lives,” Jacobs said.

She’s looking to spread that impact throughout her school. With the help of Librarian Amy Heinert and fellow administration, she created the ‘Million Pages Challenge.’

“The kids have been off school for six months. We’re just looking for ways to get them engaged, and kids are so excited to be back in school and that’s been the most encouraging thing about this fall,” Heinert said.

Courtesy: Amy Heinert

The challenge asks students from all grades to read a collective total of a million pages over the next 8 months. In order to have everyone read an even number of pages, Jacobs first had to do a little math.

“There’s around 100 people per grade – so the kindergarteners have to read 50,000 in total. First grade has to read 100,000. Second grade has to read 150,000 and it just kind of keeps going up to 5th grade, which is 400,000,” Jacobs said.

Each student is given a log sheet they can fill out to track their page count. They are then marked on a progress chart.

Tenley and the progress chart

“Students have already asked for another tally sheet, so they are very, very motivated and engaged,” Heinert said.

As an additional treat, Jacobs is seeking pledges to raise money, so she can provide her school with a B&G ice cream party once they hit their goal. If you had to ask Jacobs what one of the sweetest parts about starting this program is, she’d probably say.

“To be honest… it’s probably being in charge,” Jacobs said.

That, and creating and expanding their community of readers.

“It’s a good cause, so it feels good,” Jacobs said.

So far, Jacobs has raised $400 to go toward their ice cream party, she needs 200 more to reach her goal.

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