Madison works to instill love of reading with help from Martin's Super Markets grant

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - One good book can get a child hooked on reading, and that's why one local school is eager to connect kids with new materials.

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation’s Madison Elementary School just got more money for page-turners thanks to Martin's Super Markets' One School at a Time grant.

When third-grader Dottie Pogue looks for a good book, she heads straight for the "Magic Treehouse" series.

“I like these books, because in each chapter, each chapter is really short,” Dottie said. “And you just want to read the next chapter about it.”

Dottie says reading is a family activity, although some like it better than others.

“My brother, he really likes to read. My mom, she really likes to read. Like, they read all the time,” Dottie explained. “But me and my sister, we don't like to read that much.”

Dottie is working to improve her reading, just like all of the kids at Madison. In fact, the school encourages families to get involved.

“We just wanted a way to encourage the kids to read more, so we came up with the idea of a book club, where everyone in the whole school would read the same book, encourage them to read it with their family and then we would have a celebration,” said Beth Pogue, Madison PTO President and Dottie’s mom.

“It wasn't something we had budgeted for when we came up with the idea,” Pogue said. “So, this money from Martin's is wonderful to cover the books we already purchased to hopefully continue to do the program in the future.”

“When they see adults do it, and they see how important it is for us, they're going to do it as well,” Madison Principal Kevin McMillen said. “You see the growth, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. You see if they continue to grow, what their reading does and how well they're getting that vocabulary.”

If you have a struggling young reader at home, parents can try youth magazines with sports or science themes. The Pogue family even uses music.

“My daughter and I love karaoke, and I think it helps her fluency,” Pogue explained. “We read the words on the screen, and that's a great way to do it. When she's too tired to read a book, we'll take turns; I’ll read one page, she'll read another page.”

Madison Elementary sets aside time every day for the kids to get comfortable and read.

“We call it ‘DEAR’, Drop Everything and Read,” fifth-grader Aleah Ritchie said. “I look around and I see everybody reading and it calms me down a lot.”

“Reading is like going away to another world where you won't be noticed and it's amazing,” fourth-grader Allie Sommers said. “So, I want people to feel that.”

If you'd like to nominate your school for a Martin's One School at a Time grant, just fill out an online application.

The winning school gets $1,000 from Martin’s Super Markets. A new winner is picked each month.