Inside the Berlin Elementary School, kids are getting revved up for reading.
"I like Hansel and Gretel," said Gavin Fordham-Stephens, a first-grader.
"I like Army books," said Scott Ellsworth, a second-grader.
And outside the school, they're being rewarded for their efforts.
"Even a race car driver has to read," Troy Kingsbury said.
The students recently met a "Race to Read" challenge to tackle 15 books each in just the last two months. Their reward Friday-- a visit from race car driver Troy Kingsbury.
"I didn't really know that any race car drivers liked to read that much," said Kadyona Striker, a second-grader.
"He started the car and we got to see how loud it was," Ellsworth noted.
Kingsbury is also a dad with a message that's pretty simple.
"To read, read, read," said Cody Bell, a second-grader.
"If we can get the kids to read earlier and enjoy books when they are younger, then I hope that when they get to the teenage years they are not on the Xbox, they are not playing the video games, they are not texting their friends, they think maybe I will read a book," Kingsbury said.
The visit that allowed youngsters to sign these special race cars was important to principal Chris Dodge. He's overseeing improvements to how literacy is taught at the school. They started with an audit of the program three years ago and have included introducing more nonfiction in the classroom, reading aloud with students and making sure teachers have the training they need.
"Part of the responsibility of teachers is to figure out how that individual student is learning and to differentiate the instruction to meet their needs. It is no longer just a stand and deliver," Dodge said.
Dodge says with a push in education to focus more on math and science, it's essential that reading and writing skills get the attention they need.
"Reading can't go by the wayside," Dodge said. "Reading, like the key to a race car, is the access point for our students for everything they are going to do in their future."
Futures that look bright for these young people who are sharing tips to get others hooked on books.
"Well if you don't like to read, just try it and you might like it," Striker advised.
And you might just get a special visitor to your schoolyard, too.
Since last year, Vermont kids have read 5,000 books as part of the Race to Read program. Dr. Seuss titles ranked the most popular with more than 200 kids picking from the childhood favorite.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:50 PM EST2013-12-12 00:50:40 GMT
Carbon monoxide poisoning killed a Georgia teen in his car last February. As a way to cope with his death, Logan Newell's family started a foundation in his honor with the goal of helping needy familiesMore >>
Carbon monoxide poisoning killed a Georgia teen in his car last February. As a way to cope with his death, Logan Newell's family started a foundation in his honor with the goal of helping needy families in the area.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 4:59 PM EST2013-12-11 21:59:24 GMT
An update on that fatal accident Monday morning on the beltline in Burlington. Gregory Burt, 56, of Colchester, was killed when his car collided with a school bus. Police now say they have determined thatMore >>
An update on that fatal accident Monday morning on the beltline in Burlington.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:45 AM EST2013-12-11 14:45:27 GMT
An upstate New York woman is recovering after she was attacked by a rabid bobcat. The 49-year-old woman said the bobcat pounced on her last Thursday when she was at the door of her Putnam home, whichMore >>
An upstate New York woman is recovering after she was attacked by a rabid bobcat.More >>