Moffat County students set new record in Passport to Reading program |

Moffat County students set new record in Passport to Reading program

Passport to Reading resultsAbout 195 fourth- and fifth-grade students from East, Ridgeview, Sandrock and Sunset elementary schools qualified for the year-end barbecue by earning at least 20 stamps — each representing one book — in their program passports. All students involved in the program tabulated a total of 9,012 stamps during the school year. Grand prize winner Ayla WestonFirst place prizewinners by school
  • East: Brady Nunez
  • Ridgeview: Magnum Gustin
  • Sandrock: Michael Sigmon
  • Sunset: Caitlyn Adams
Second place prizewinners by school
  • East: Kaidin Anthony
  • Ridgeview: Catherine Clark
  • Sandrock: Brody Bailey
  • Sunset: Peyton Ely
Third place prizewinners by school
  • East: Danna Montanez
  • Ridgeview: Kelsie Clark
  • Sandrock: Josefina Kuberry
  • Sunset: Tied: Hannah Kilpatrick, Jaxom Gunderson
Most improved readers by schoolEast: Riley Jenkins, Sabryna Smith, Payton Roop, Treyton NottinghamRidgeview: Titus Ruybalid, Wyatt Shell, Rashid Arenov, Ayla WestonSandrock: Karson Fedinec, Guadalupe Lopez, Javen Hippely, Taylor SwensonSunset: Dameon Hancock, Milo Gifford, Kaleb Cox, Kenya Hernandez

CRAIG — Reading has long provided a gateway for the imagination to explore new places and perspectives. The 2018 Passport to Reading program encouraged Moffat County students to successfully complete 9,012 reading adventures.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Tilila Gunderson, library technician at Sunset and Passport to Reading coordinator, about this year’s high level of participation.

The passport program was started about six years ago by Moffat County teacher James Neton, who created a fun way for students, teachers and librarians to track and reward fourth- and fifth-grade students for reading.

In 2015, students set a record by reading more than 6,000 titles, but this year’s result is even more impressive, not only for the number of materials read, but also for the learning students achieved.

Upon completing a book, magazine or other piece taken from a list of reading materials from the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader program, students had to pass a comprehension test with a score of 80 percent or above to receive a stamp in their reading passports.

In a clever twist, students also had to expand their reading choices to fill the passport’s 64 boxes across 44 genres.

“The program encourages students to stretch their reading likes by trying new genres,” Gunderson said.

Ridgeview student Ayla Weston thinks students enjoy the challenges offered by the program.

“I think it gives kids an opportunity to get into new books,” Ayla said.

She found herself reading non-fiction speeches and works of history.

To help keep kids reading, sponsoring businesses — the Craig Press, Friends of Moffat County Education, Downtown Books and the Rotary Club of Craig — acknowledged top readers and provided resources for teachers to award students each month for reading the most and/or improving their reading.

“The teachers were wonderful and supported the kids. Librarians at each school kept track of who was reading what and the kids themselves,” Gunderson said.

About 195 students from East, Ridgeview, Sandrock and Sunset elementary schools qualified for a year-end barbecue by earning at least 20 stamps.

The celebratory lunch was provided by the Rotary Club at the Boys & Girls Club Wednesday, May 2. Students played games and enjoyed lunch, and the overall top readers were awarded prizes.

Having successfully completed 77 comprehension tests, Ayla was awarded Grand Prize and took home a Kindle Fire, with cover, and a $25 gift card to help keep her reading.

And, though she’s developed a new appreciation of history, her first purchases on the new device will likely be the “Wings of Fire” series by Tui T, “because I like mythical creatures and the stories are all about dragons.”

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or


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