The sixth-grade rivalry

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“I Love to Read Month” is not only the highlight of the year for students who love to crack open a book or two; for some it has shown to be fiercely competitive. Even as far back as when I was in the sixth grade, both classes were striving for the overall win.

At that time I had no interest in the competition and read for fun. What I didn’t know however (as I’m sure most students still may not realize) was that half of my class’s collected points were accumulated as a result of my continuous reading habit. As it turned out I wasn’t the only student with the habit of reading every chance one could get.

Students who really aim to get the most out of some friendly competition, not only do it out of the desire to have fun; but make a great contribution to their class’s overall score.

Previous years proved the goal had been to beat yourself, but our sixth-grade class was a different story. When we both put the pieces together about the scoring, this was when the true competition began.

However, I’m happy to say that wanting to win never changed the fact that we both (my competitor from the other class) loved to read, and nothing could change that. The realization of our love to read all came from where battle lines were drawn that faithful sixth-grade year.

Jumping four years ahead, the sixth-graders this year have turned the pages of as many as 30 books. Thus, making you think that this year’s students show the same friendly competitiveness we had all those years ago.

Yet, it can be hard for any student of any grade to embrace the love of reading, but what makes this competition a one-of-a-kind at Plains Public Schools was and still is the sixth-grade English teacher Sandra Jirasko.

I didn’t comprehend it at the time, but her enthusiasm is what truly spurred me on to becoming a lover of any book I come across. Her encouragement to read was not only embraced by myself, but my peers as well.

I can’t speak for anyone else but for myself, I can still remember the day she turned my world on its head. Inspiring me to pick up a book not to satisfy others, but for my own enjoyment.

It makes me wonder how many other students Miss Jirasko has nurtured this aspiration in, and how many more will she inspire. The longing to turn the next page and get lost in an adventure as the story unfolds.

Sadly, the “I Love to Read” month competition of 2018 has come to its end. All things considered I’m a little sad that the month has come and gone.

The only thing to do now is wait for next year to see who will be crowned the winning reader at Plains Schools.

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