What does a water slide have to do with a love of reading? Quite a lot for students at Mermentau Elementary School, who are turning their dedication for books into a water-filled play day each year.
Students at the Acadia Parish school read books throughout the year and track their progress through the educational software Accelerated Reader, which awards points based on the difficulty level of each book. Those points translate into play time on a water slide set up on campus toward the end of each school year. The more points, the more fun.
“We have some kids that read so much they have all day on the water slide,” first-grade teacher Bonnie Credeur says. “They love that. It’s a tangible goal for the students and it has been a big success.”
The water slide day is part of a range of incentives and prizes the school offers students for excelling in the Accelerated Reader program. Those prizes are funded in part through the Community Cash For Schools® program. Mermentau Elementary is among the top fundraisers in Louisiana, earning $3,000 this year through the program.
Funds raised through the Community Cash for Schools® program also support the purchase of classroom materials and playground equipment, such as volleyball nets, sports balls and other equipment, at Mermentau Elementary.
The school has participated in the fundraiser program for more than a decade, but found a new level of success four years ago when it implemented incentives for students who turn in labels from Community® coffee products.
“We count them and we give the students little prizes and awards — extra recesses and things like that — to encourage their families to bring in the labels,” Credeur says. “We get a lot of community support from local businesses, even out-of-state sometimes, because the families reach out to them.”
The funds raised through the Community Cash for Schools® program each year help Mermentau Elementary further its mission of preparing its young students for their academic futures by developing all-important reading skills. “We know the correlation between reading and success,” Credeur says.