EPISD’s myOn Winter Reading Challenge winners spent thousands of minutes reading and listening to dozens of digital books during the holiday break to win major bragging rights and some other cool prizes.
Barron Elementary swept the two elementary categories with second grader Arabella Gillespie taking the kinder to second grade category and fourth grader Lorena Hernandez earning first in the third to fifth grade category. The competition was open to elementary and middle school students.
“Each day I would read two books,” she said, explaining that she’d use the audio function. “I’d just put my headphones on and start listening. It’s easier because it can read to you.”
She continues to use myOn even well after the winter break.
“I feel so happy and proud to win,” she said. “I like reading because it helps you learn more. If you read non-fiction books, it tells you true stuff.”
Lorena’s brother Marco Hernandez, a Charles Middle sixth grader, took top honors in the middle school category by reading 55 books for a total of 3,279 minutes.
“I won because I read and read and read,” said Marco, who enjoys horror books by Jason Strange.
Marco, who read for hours each day during the break, definitely enjoyed his time on myOn because of the ease of use and mobility of keeping up with the pages.
“It’s a good thing because instead of reading a normal book, you don’t have to turn the pages, you can stop and it saves your place so you can go back and finish reading,” he said.
Marco also sees the advantage of myOn for English language learners trying to read.
“Students who speak Spanish can use myOn and it will help them because they can use the translator and keep reading,” he said.
Barron Elementary also is home to the second-place winners in both the kinder through second and third through fifth categories. Lorena and Marco’s brother won second in the lower grades, while fourth grader Anthony Trujillo took second in the upper grades. Principal Lidia Anguiano also claims Marco, who is a former Barron student, among her winners.
“I’m thrilled beyond worlds,” Anguiano said. “I’m proud of all of our students and the fact that they took advantage of this opportunity and they used this time to continue growing. I always tell them ‘today a reader, tomorrow a leader.'”
Reading challenges are nothing new to Barron. It’s something the Hernandez children and little Arabella Gillespie always take on. Arabella was the school’s first lower grade student to ever read 1 million words.
“With this virtual library, it just opens our students to a whole world of books out there and it’s nice they took advantage,” Anguiano said. “Every student has their own library ready for them to start reading and continue learning and growing and applying all the knowledge they’ve learned through reading. It’s an amazing opportunity for our children.”
Story by Reneé de Santos | Photos by Leonel Monroy, Jr. – EPISD