BLACKFOOT — Elementary students in the Blackfoot and Snake River school districts read for more than 2 million minutes in October after a friendly challenge from the local firefighters union.
In the Blackfoot School District, seven schools participated with a total of 1,095 students reading for a combined 1.94 million minutes. In Snake River, Riverside Elementary had 271 students participate. They read 210,592 minutes.
In October the local firefighters union challenged students in both districts to read as many minutes as they could. Each student logged their minutes, which were submitted to the Fire Department.
Firefighter Tony Catt said he was impressed by how much the students read, especially since it was the first year of the program.
"It was very, very successful," Catt said.
"It was a great program," he said. "The students were really excited about it."
The top student in each district will receive a special prize—in addition to various gifts, the student will receive a ride to and from school on a fire truck. They will also be treated to dinner with the firefighters at the fire station.
Those students were Annisa Bowen, a third grader at Stalker Elementary who read 8,865 minutes, and Riverside Elementary second grader Trey Poulter, who read 4,280 minutes.
The top class in each district, based on the average number of minutes each student read, received $100 and will receive a pizza party. Mrs. Bevan's fourth grade class at Stalker Elementary read a total of 52,338 minutes for an average of 2,616.9 minutes per student, and Ms. Morgan's class at Riverside Elementary read a total of 31,436 minutes for an average of 1,309.8 minutes per student.
Each school that had the highest average of minutes per student received a check for $200 and the firefighters will serve the entire school lunch one day. Those schools were I.T. Stoddard Elementary and Riverside Elementary.
The reading challenge was held in October to coincide with Fire Prevention Month. Firefighters went to various schools, educating students on the importance of fire safety.