Saeger Middle School Wins Word UP Challenge MVP Award

Posted on 03/28/2019
Top readers at Saeger are recognized for their participation in the Word UP Challenge


Saeger students who participated in the Word UP ChallengeThe students at Saeger Middle School have spent the past six months adventuring through stories, hurdling over difficult words, and reading their way to the back covers of many, many books. As part of the school’s reading goal and the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) Reading Counts! Word UP Challenge, the students were encouraged to read four books each quarter, a total of sixteen books for the year. The challenge tracked the number of words read by the students from early September to mid-February. The more words, the more points they earned for their school. This year, the Saeger students read a total of 9,799,356 words earning them the MVP Award – the second place prize for the Word UP Challenge!

Holly Bowman celebrates her award with friendsSaeger Middle School was the only school in Missouri to receive recognition for the challenge. “It’s impressive,” said sixth grader Jack Ziegemeier. “We won in all of Missouri. That’s a lot of people and a lot of reading classes. I’m proud!” The students worked hard to achieve this exciting goal and were also reminded about the importance of reading along the way. Seventh grader Holly Bowman reflected on the constant presence of reading in our world today. “When you are driving, you use reading. When you go to dinner, you use reading. Reading is pretty much everywhere you go, so it is one of the most important things in life.”

Saeger students celebrate their award with cakeBowman certainly makes reading a priority in her own life. She was recognized for a word count of 630,117 words, the highest number at Saeger. Conner Leap, JT Clooney, Bruce Stufflebean, and Ian Price were also recognized for their high word counts. The friendly competition provided students with a new and fun approach to their education. “We were just excited to get kids reading,” said reading teacher Jenny Jorel. “My hope is that the more they read, the more they will find something they like, which will then keep them reading in the future.”

Saeger Middle School celebrated their great achievement with an awards ceremony for their top readers and of course, delicious cake to sweeten the victory. After a successful year, Saeger Middle School is determined to keep their bookmarks on hand and to turn even more pages next year. Keep up the great work, Junior Spartans!

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