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Students take to the hoops as prize for reading contest

Clinton Bradt, winner of the first-grade class in Christian Heritage School's March Madness reading competition, made 23 of the 40 shots he earned by reading 800 minutes in the month.
Zach Fridell

— March Madness took over Clinton Bradt’s life for the past four weeks.

The Christian Heritage School first-grader wasn’t busy filling out brackets or screaming at the television; he was reading books as fast as he could for the school’s annual March Madness reading competition.

It all paid off for Clinton on Friday, when he was named the winner of his class’s competition with 800 minutes, or 13 hours and 20 minutes, of reading during the past four weeks.



It wasn’t an easy four weeks for Clinton, he said. On Thursday morning, the day the final minutes of reading were due, he woke up at 4:30 a.m. dreaming that he was reading. He woke up his mother, Lauri Bradt, and asked her if he could continue his most recent book.

Lauri, who is also a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at the school, said she told Clinton he had to wait one more hour before he could pick up where he left off the night before.



“He was reading before bed every night, at breakfast, in the car. : He’d read if we got to school early or after school. Wherever he was going, even the grocery store,” Bradt said.

As a reward, Clinton and the rest of the elementary students were allowed to shoot baskets in the gym based on the number of reading basketball awards they accumulated.

Clinton, with good form and a mean jump shot, nailed 23 of his 40 shots, earning him candy from the school.

Joey Berlet, the winner for the kindergarten class with 550 minutes of reading certified by a parent, said he enjoyed the month of reading as he sat in the living room each evening to reach his goal.

During the month, Joey moved from “Five Little Monkeys Jumping On A Bed,” to “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping On A Bed,” he said.

Tonya Dean, mother of second-grader Decker Dean, said the annual school contest is a highlight of her son’s year.

“Every year he does this. It’s a big month for him,” she said. “He’s really enjoying reading because there’s an incentive.”


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