Gina, a 5th grade teacher at East Hill Elementary in Washington realized her class this year was going to require extra support in keeping students on task, focused, and engaged in reading. 

The challenge was different this year…

“Every class and every year is completely different. I knew this class was going to need something to really bring them together and keep them on track,” Gina explained. One day while scrolling Facebook she came across Read to Lead’s  Million Words Read Challenge in a Teacher Facebook Group where teachers were sharing what techniques they use to help build literacy skills with reluctant readers. Gina felt the idea of a “reading challenge” would be something worth trying. 


Implementation was easy… 

Gina created a free account, got up and running easily, and introduced the concept of the challenge to her class. After the first few learning games were played, students got hooked! “They were asking me to play every day so I threw out all my old worksheets for morning work and said, get on your Read to Lead!” 


Reading engagement and classroom culture changed for the better… 

Not only were students on task and engaged in the assignments, but they were talking with each other about why they made certain decisions. They were helping each other and having deep conversations without being prompted, they were truly engaged in the stories.

Not only were they reading and reflecting building comprehension skills, but they were also learning about different careers, how to think critically, make tough decisions, analyze information, and other life skills. The students were interested in the newest Series on the platform, Community Pharmacy, which intertwines real-life events and applications.

While they started off playing during morning work period, students wanted to reach 1 Million Words together and so Gina started building in additional time blocks for the students to play.

“The class across the hall heard about the Million Words Read Challenge because my students were so excited about it, and so we started racing each other!”

The challenge helped build Gina’s classroom culture and unite the students to reach a common goal together. “ They were inspired by the challenge and they challenged classmates to participate who were not ‘pulling their weight’, as my students put it!” 

As a former Accountant in her previous life before teaching, Gina believes the fundamentals to learning are math and reading — that everything starts there. Her accounting background also makes her extra excited for the next Read to Lead Series that is being built this summer which will be set in the career world of Finance!

Thank you Gina for your commitment to helping your students build their reading and leading skills, we’re inspired by your class!

About Read to Lead

Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!