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These students accepted the challenge to read a million words in one school year.
Click the links below to read about their success!
Success Stories


Harnessing the Power of Words
Local Elementary and Middle School Students Engage in Springboards to Education's Read A Million Words Campaign
by: Elvia Estimbo, Educator

BravoTwo years ago Springboards to Education launched a revolutionary motivational reading program entitled Springboards to Education's Read A Million Words Campaign. the goal of this program is to entice and motivate students to become avid readers and present them with a cornucopia of reads from across the genres. Research indicates that independent reading significantly improves a student's reading comprehension and vocabulary and boosts student success throughout the content areas.

It also serves an important affective purpose; that is, to develop a lifelong appreciation for reading for pleasure and information.

Recent research indicates that the volumes of reading also affects general cognitive development. This year, hundreds of local students have become word millionaires or reached their own personal reading goals. Springboards to Education and local school district officials are hoping to encourage even more children to read!

Springboards to Education's Read A Million Words Campaign drew national attention when Congressman Ruben Hinojasa agreed to challenge all of the Rio Grande Valley students and school districts to read a million words. The Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District has taken the challenge to heart by enlisting all of the elementary and middle school campuses into Springboards to Education's Read A Million Words Campaign.

ECISD recognized and understands that a student's time spent reading books is the best predictor for student success. "We are significantly improving a student's vocabulary and reading comprehension through reading practice, but our primary goal is to foster a life-long love of reading in all students," states Liza M. Garza, Library Services Supervisor for the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District.

Power of Words"Springboards to Education's Millionaire's Reading Club has helped propel reading throughout the district and impacted the full comprehension levels of all students by setting a district wide incentive program that encourages students to reach their individual reading goals," states Elvia Estimbo, a 7th grade ELA teacher.

Students from all over the district have expressed such interest in challenging themselves into making their goal a reality. Over at Harwell and B.L. Garza Middle Schools, many students are well on their way towards successfully becoming a part of the Millionaire's Reading Club. Leading the Read A Million Words Campaign is Bravo, the Star Struck Reader. Students of all ages enjoy the motivation level and aura that becoming a Star Struck Reader entails.

"Implementing the Millionaire's Reading Club on my campus has done nothing short of motivating the kids to read more. they've set goals and have challenged each other to reach them, regardless of who does it first. Knowing that Bravo, the Read a Million Words Campaign mascot, will make a red carpet appearance and all the bells and whistles that come along with reaching a million words, has prompted the kids even more toward reaching their goal," says Sally Hartman, B.L. Garza Middle School Librarian.

El ReyLocal businesses have also shown their interest and support with helping instill the love of reading in young learners throughout the Valley. Espana Mediterranean Cuisine, Dairy Queen, KGBT Channel 4, All Valley Limousine Service and Cine El Rey are helping to take the millionaire's club to the next level. Those students who attain the grandeur of success are inducted into the Millionaire's Club in style, with the experience of walking the red carpet, decked out in their red carpet attire, presented with their certificates and trophies and then whisked away via limo to Espana Mediterranean Cuisine for a lesson on etiquette and a full four course meal, millionaire style!

"Finally a reading campaign that is fun, effective, and geared towards producing avid readers. We are proud to see so many of our students accomplish their reading goals!" states Carmen Gonzalez, Edinburg CISD School Board President.

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Defining Success Against All Odds
by: Elvia Estimbo, Educator

Bravo"I didn't know any better. There was nowhere for me to go but ahead."

Those words of sheer helplessness spilled out of Isaac, a young boy from Guadalajara who arrived in this country without a trace of knowledge of the English language. His story of success is not unlike many others we may have heard, but to see the abundance of motivation and determination from such a young boy and his will to climb the prodigal ladder of success, will do nothing short of filling your heart with pride and joy for him.

It all began as a plea for help from Isaac's mother. After enrolling him at M. Betts Elementary in October of 2005, she visited the school with a special request. She requested a cassette player from Mrs. I. Zamarripa, the school librarian, because she wanted her son to listen to words and stories in English. Isaac's mom was worried about his educational well being. He couldn't understand the teacher because of the language barrier and his mom couldn't help him out at home because she didn't know the language as well.

After being placed in the school's bilingual program, Isaac, a 3rd grader, began reading Spanish books while utilizing computerized reading programs built to influence reading skills in students. After testing on a total of 84 Spanish books with an 81% passing rate on his reading quizzes, Isaac began testing on English books, but at first and second grade reading levels. As time passed, Isaac was making a sucessful transition between languages.

The following school year, Isaac was nominated and placed into the Gifted and Talented program. His reading capabilities in the English language were flourishing at an insurmountable rate. Isaac had reached a total of 135 English books with a 94% passing rate. Isaac was advancing in reading at a phenomenal rate, surpassing much, if not all, of the school's student body. There was one goal in Isaac's mind. One goal that he was determined to hit. One goal that was going to help define the mountain this young boy had climbed - becoming a Star Struck reading Millionare!

The Star Struck Millionare's Club is a prestigious reading club whose members have been inducted into by having read one million words. The entire sutdent body at Betts Elementary was striving to reach their million-word goal. Who happened to be the very first inductee at Betts Elementary? Isaac. The young, shy Spanish-speaking little boy whose mother stepped forward and asked for nothing short of a favor for her struggling son.

Isaac's story is one that shows motivation, determination and success, which demonstrates what it truly means to be a Star Struck Reader!

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