Diamond Credit Union visited students on February 22 at the Pottstown Middle School to support their hard work in the annual Reading Olympics competition. Diamond has sponsored the event for 14 consecutive years.
Chip takes time for a photo and to wish the kids good luck at the Pottstown Middle School Reading Olympics. Rob Hackash (back), Marketing Manager for Diamond, was also part of the assembly.
Over 100 students in grades 4 to 12 formed several teams. During the three-round competition, teams fielded questions about 45 books they collectively read in advance. The format of the competition challenged participants ability to focus and their reading comprehension skills. That know-how was then applied in a team setting that directly linked reading to success and gave kids the opportunity to lead.
“Because he was too small and frail,” Jeremiah, a student, confidently and correctly answered when the moderator asked his team “why did Zeni’s parents tell him he was unable to play baseball?” in the book Barbed Wire Baseball.
The competition is designed to make reading fun. The element of teamwork it introduces to an activity that is typically individually driven gets kids rooting for each other to read. “The neatest thing about the whole competition is the teamwork,” said Karen Neitz, Intervention Specialist for Pottstown School District and coordinator of Reading Olympics. “It’s just like life. We succeed together.”
The competition also was a dress rehearsal for the Montgomery County Reading Olympics. All Pottstown Middle School students will compete in the county-wide event to be held in the spring.
While winners were crowned and the practice was welcome, district employees believe the value of the day-long event has long-term impact. “When I look at this assembly I do not see students,” an inspired John Armato, Director of Community Relations for Pottstown School District told the student body. “I see future leaders sitting here today – principals, teachers, doctors and engineers.”
Chip, Diamond Credit Union’s official mascot, delighted students and staff alike at the assembly and during a tour of the school that included sitting in on a computer class in the library. Diamond representatives were equally impressed to receive more than a dozen handmade thank you cards from students.
Diamond’s sponsorship makes books, supplies, transportation, and team t-shirts available for the students.
(L) Chip takes part in a computer class at the Pottstown Middle School library. (R) Rob Hackash, Marketing Manager for Diamond Credit Union, displays several handmade thank you cards from the students, with Chip, inside the school. Photos by Anthony Hoey.
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