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The Bookmans School Challenge
To help educators encourage a love of reading in their students, we launched the Bookmans Reading Challenge to public and charter elementary schools in Arizona in 2007. Teachers across the state reported their students read over a million books in our Reading Challenge, but by 2010 it seemed as though negative stories about schools outnumbered the positive as the media and some politicians portrayed public education as failing. Our partners in literacy advocacy were telling us inspirational stories about about innovative educational programs put into play by hardworking public educators. We wanted everyone to hear about these positive things that schools and students were doing in the face of criticism and despite the lack of funding. We updated our Reading Challenge to include a greater number of students and a wider variety of curricular activities. This shift in focus required a new name -- the Bookmans School Challenge.
Watch for our next Bookmans School Challenge.
* Three schools receive awards as we give away a total of $21,000 in cash!
* High schools, middle schools, junior highs and elementary schools -- all school configurations are encouraged to apply!
* Easy online application process.
* The School Challenge is open to public and charter schools located in Arizona and proximate to our stores in Flagstaff, Mesa, Phoenix and Tucson.
In the initial application schools tell us who they are as a school community, what they do well and how they plan to apply that to where they need help. A team of Bookmans Entertainment Exchange employees evaluate each application looking for inspired, creative and enthusiastic proposals and select our top ten. Those ten schools will move to phase two of our contest by entering a short video explaining their proposal to the public. Three schools, one selected by popular vote on Facebook and two by committee, enter the final phase when they host a visit/interview from the Bookmans team so we can meet in person. All three of these schools are winners because these schools rose to the Bookmans School Challenge. For this reason we reward the runners up $3,000 each. Only one school rises to the very top and for their efforts Bookmans awards that school $15,000.
We don't want the momentum to stop there. We want to hear all year round from each school entering the Bookmans School Challenge. We know how hard educators work and what great work can be accomplished by students. Tweet us, e-mail us, tag us on Facebook telling us what your schools are doing to encourage life-long learning.
Bookmans School Challenge 2013 News Flashes
* Alpine Leadership Academy in Flagstaff wins $15,000 and Maxwell Middle School in Tucson and Desert Marigold in Phoenix each win $3,000. Learn more about why we love these schools.
* Meet our 2013 Bookmans School Challenge finalists.
* Watch all the Bookmans School Challenge semi-finalists' videos here.
* Celebrate the top 10 semifinalists in the 2013 Bookmans School Challenge.
Bookmans School Challenge 2012 News Flashes
* Cortez High School in Phoenix wins $15,000 and Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy in Flagstaff and Manzo Elementary School in Tucson each win $3,000. Learn more about why we love these schools.
* Meet our 2012 Bookmans School Challenge finalists.
* Prepare to vote for one of the nine semi-finalists who entered a video in the Bookmans School Challenge. Watch all their videos here.
* Celebrate the top 10 semifinalists in the 2012 Bookmans School Challenge.
* We've changed up the Reading Challenge to bring you the 2012 Bookmans School Challenge. More schools are eligible, more schools will win money and we will get to know better what students and educators are doing to improve a life-long love of learning.
Read on to learn about the Bookmans Reading Challenge winners from 2007 to 2011.
Schumaker librarian Ms.
2007 Winner: Schumaker
In 2007, we challenged over 10,800 students in 25 Tucson Unified School District elementary schools to read as many books as they could from the beginning of February to the end of April. When the final numbers rolled in on May 1st, we were overwhelmed to discover that students had read more than 100,000 books throughout the course of the Challenge. Schumaker Elementary School's 331 participating students read nearly 14,000 books alone, and their awesome numbers (highest average of books read per student) garnered them the grand prize of $5,000.
It has amazed me, that with the simple idea of a reading challenge to see how many books we can read, the amount of enthusiasm that my students have at this moment to read. Everyday they are asking me "can I go to the library?" Or "can I read now?" Shawna Bonnin, Webster Elementary School teacher
Rio Vista librarian Stephanie
2008 Winners: Rio Vista and Webster
During our second annual Reading Challenge, students from 19 participating elementary schools in Tucson and 16 participating elementary schools in Mesa read over 270,000 books, blowing the previous year's number out of the water. Rio Vista Elementary School's librarian, Stephanie Quimby-Greene, helped lead the Tucson school to an incredible average of 20 books read per student, per month, and to the $5,000 grand prize. In Mesa, Webster Elementary School won the $5,000 prize, with over 33,000 books during the Challenge. Their librarian, Celia Gonzales-Hughes, helped them to an average of 13 books read per student, per month.
2009 Winners: Village Vista, Peak & Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway
In 2009, the Reading Challenge expanded from Tucson and the Phoenix area to include Flagstaff, encompassing 47 participating schools. The three winning schools - Village Vista Elementary in Phoenix, Peak Elementary in Flagstaff, and Sonoran Science Academy (Broadway) - accounted for more than 37,000 books read in the overall Challenge.
Thank you Bookmans for allowing us the opportunity to exceed our reading goals and achieve more than we ever thought possible. The $5,000 will be such a blessing to our reading program in a time of state district budget cuts." Jan Stevens, Village Vista Elementary School Principal
2010 Winner: Academy Adventures Primary School
In 2010, our Reading Challenge changed, and we awarded a single winning school a $15,000 cash prize. Throughout the three months of the 2010 Bookmans’ Reading Challenge, participating Arizona students read over 1,063,380 books (in under 85 days--quite an accomplishment). The second and third place schools were each awarded $1,000 gift certificates to Bookmans. Academy Adventures Primary School in Tucson pushed itself to the limit in March to emerge triumphant, reading an astounding average of 329 books per student--more than 3 books a day. Congratulations to the students and staff at Academy Adventures on a job very well done! Be sure to check out the video of the award ceremony below:
2011 Winner: Weinberg
Congratulations to the 2011 Reading Challenge winner Weinberg Elementary! Check out our thermometer to discover how each of the participating schools did in the challenge. Great work students!
Kids Club & 1317
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Follow the Yellow Brick 19th Ave. to Bookmans Phoenix! Celebrate L. Frank Baum’s birthday in style. Dress as
your favorite character and enter to win the Costume Contest. Come early for "Jabberwockies: Young Poets of Phoenix" at 11am (see link below) and stay for fun activities, trivia, and prizes. There's no place like a bookstore for creative minds!
05/18/2013 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Follow the Yellow Brick 19th Ave. to Bookmans Phoenix! Celebrate L. Frank Baum’s birthday in style. Dress as your favorite character and enter to win the Costume Contest. Come early for "Jabberwockies: Young Poets of Phoenix" at 11am (see link below) and stay for fun activities, trivia, and prizes. There's no place like a bookstore for creative minds!