Tag Archives: ziplines

Results! The First Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee

Library Patrons and Library Fans,

This year’s First Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee was a fierce competition that the headmistress herself would have been proud to preside over.

The Reading began heatedly from Day 1, with 2nd and 3rd grade jumping out to early leads. But the Bee became even more intense as 1st and 5th grades battled back within minutes of our early reading leaders.


We tracked progress for our Reading Bee by giving each participating class their own box to zip line across the library bulletin board. The reading was so vast and expansive, we would need a wide angle lens to capture all the action.

At high noon on Wednesday, March 23, the First Annual Adelaide Reading Bee concluded, and the sheer numbers are astounding.

Our Lower School amassed 83,527.76 minutes over the span of 10 days.

83,527.76 minutes. That’s the equivalent of 1,392 hours. 58 days. 8.2 weeks!

Those are numbers of would have caused Adelaide Preston herself to yawp a resounding, “Huzzah!”

In the lower division, 2nd Grade took the victory by amassing 12,920 minutes.

In the upper division, 5th Grade nabbed a late lead to finish with 19,270.

In the coming weeks, 2nd & 5th Grade will receive their plentiful reward:  a Party-in-a-box ziplined to them from atop our school.

Congratulations to all our young readers. Each and every class posted such impressive numbers. We’re already plotting next year’s First Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee, so stay fit for competition by keeping your eyes on those books.


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Announcing: The 1st Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee

Tradition holds that our young Day School readers shall spend one week per year competing in a challenge that promotes, provokes, and motivates close, intensive reading of the wonderful works we hold in our classroom and library collections.

This year is no different, and we in the Library & Learning Commons are proud to announce the commencement of this year’s challenge, named after one of the most important figures and champions of reading throughout our school’s exemplary history:

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The 1st Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee

Ms. Preston began her tenure as principal at Annie Wright School in 1913 and she spent sixteen years at our helm, providing the vision and effort necessary to transition Annie Wright into its current iconic building.

Of her many passions and abilities, Principal Preston was an incredible advocate of reading; thus, we are launching a reading bee in her honor.

The Rules

Our Reading Bee is a quest to see which Day School grade level can team together to complete the most total minutes of reading within a single week.

At 8am on Monday, March 14, students from Kindergarten to 5th Grade may begin tallying the minutes they spend intently reading each and every day of the week (please note: our Kindergarteners may include minutes they are read aloud to). Each afternoon, teachers will provide the library with the total amount of time their students spent reading throughout the day. Our young Day School readers may continue to accrue minutes by reading at home, and parents can record their children’s efforts on the form at the bottom of this bulletin.

The Library will continue to tally contributions until 12:00pm on Wednesday, March 23.

Whichever grade level accrues the most reading minutes throughout the week will be rewarded with a prize Adelaide Preston herself would admire.

The Prize

We have named our Reading Bee after Adelaide Preston, as reading was a primary passion for this principal. We have also designed a prize worthy of this esteemed school leader’s second passion: ziplines.


Given our principal’s zest for ziplines, the grade level that reads for the most minutes throughout the week will be awarded with a Party-in-a-Box. And this Party-in-a-Box will be no ordinary box. Instead, it will be ziplined down to the winning grade level, as so:

We will be offering two Parties-in-a-Box, one to the Grade K-2 champions, and one to the Grade 3-5 champions.

The winning grade levels will be announced after the March break. Look daily for updates on how this event unfolds!

Parents and Teachers, Please Submit Reading Minutes Here:





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READaGATOR: The Final Tally


Friends, Fans, Parents, Teachers, and Colleagues! READaGATOR has run its course, and we’ve finally finalized our final results.

Grades K through 5 collectively read 87,837 minutes. That is almost 1500 hours! 60 days! 2 months! All straight reading, crammed into 2.5 weeks. This represents a huge effort on the part of our young readers. Chapeau to all who participated!

And, here’s how each class contributed to that goal:

Kindergarten: 9,737 minutes.

First Grade: 8,613 minutes.

Second Grade: 13,469 minutes.

Third Grade: 10,987 minutes.

Fourth Grade: 20,112 minutes.

Fifth Grade: 18,802 minutes

While I want to (and will!) express absolute astonishment over the sheer amount of minutes K-5 dedicated towards reading (and especially Fourth Grade, who led with 20k!), we need to keep in mind that this was over 70,000 minutes short of our 160,000 minute goal. This means no Gator Suit for Ms. Ball, and no party-in-a-box for our leading readers, Fourth Grade. We’ll keep reaching for that goal, and next year, I sure hope we summit that minute-mountain.


THE PARTY-IN-A-BOX WILL BE ZIPLINED TO THE 4TH GRADE! At Wednesday’s Lower School Chapel, I made a very similar announcement. As we applauded, Mr. Sullivan burst onto the scene and demanded that I rewarded 4th Grade for their efforts. So, there we have it, straight from the Head of Schools himself. The Party-in-a-Box is back! Congratulations 4th Grade!

And, Mr. Sullivan also demanded that Ms. Ball wear CHOMP’S head for one full school day!

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ReadaGator: Daily Update

With 4 more days of ReadaGator remaining, here is the latest update on the heated Battle for the Box (ziplined from atop the school, of course).


You’ll see 2nd Grade with a strong lead, but if you compare this with the last update, you’ll also see 5th Grade absolutely accelerating. Might they pass 2nd in reading goals? Will they run out of calendar days to make this happen? Will another grade rise up like a Reading Phoenix?

It’s going to be a great end to READaGATOR!

(New to ReadaGator? Check out our launch post to learn more).

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New to Read-a-Gator? Want to submit your reading minutes? Click here for our launch post.

After a thrilling debut of Read-a-Gator during yesterday afternoon’s K-5 Chapel, we’re ready to report on the first day’s progress of this year’s reading challenge.

Here’s your daily shot of the Read-a-Gator bulletin board.

ImageYou’ll notice that there’s not much action on the board, but that doesn’t mean the numbers aren’t robust. In one short evening, we’ve amassed 1706 minutes of reading.

While every grade seems focused on winning the Party-in-a-Box, let’s hope each grade doesn’t forget that they can’t reach 160,000 minutes without the help of the entire school. How will they support each other?

And how many minutes do we still need before hitting that 160,000 minute goal?

Read-a-Gator continues…

Read-a-Gator Daily Update: March 27

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