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      Lake Linden students participate in Iditarod Reading Challenge

      Fifth grade teacher at Lake Linden Elementary, Chris Rebman, has a goal of making reading a more enjoyable habit for his students.

      Every March, the school has a different reading program. This year, Rebman rallied the whole school to read their way to 91,000 minutes throughout March, together.

      â??We chose to have the kids read 20 minutes a day, five days a week,â?? explained Rebman. â??That was kind of the minimum goal we were setting, but we were hoping they would even set higher goals for themselves because when you do something for about 30 days, you can tend to break old habits and set new ones.â??

      The March reading challenge is based entirely around the Iditarod. Students have been reading their way all the way to Nome, Alaska, and theyâ??ve already reached their 51,000 minute mark in the 91,000 minute goal for the month.

      Each class even gets to take home a Husky stuffed animal. Students can write a personal narrative in the viewpoint of a dog, and they can work on their writing skills as well.

      â??It increases your vocabulary, and with kids who are spending a lot more time reading, we see improved writing as well,â?? Rebman said.

      Aside from teachers seeing the fruits of their labor, the students are starting to enjoy reading more.

      â??Thereâ??s a bunch of different books, and thereâ??s probably one that will fit into your likings of a book,â?? said fifth grader Carter Crouch.

      â??It can make you escape into a whole other world and nothing else matters,â?? said fifth grader Megan Messner. â??Whatever happened at school or at home, it all disappears. Itâ??s just a whole different place of adventure and mystery and fun.â??

      Crouch and fellow fifth grader, Spencer Wickstrom, said their favorite book is â??Diary of a Wimpy Kid.â??

      â??Itâ??s really cool because he talks about his life and how his life goes and at school and stuff,â?? explained Wickstrom.

      â??Itâ??s fun to see in a different perspective of someone elseâ??s life,â?? Crouch added.

      And as far as Rebman sleeping in the snow bank? He said it was all to add an extra something special for the students.

      â??Kids love that kind of stuff,â?? Rebman said. â??Was it a carrot dangling in front of them trying to get them to read? Not necessarily, but it just made it a little more memorable for them and a little more fun. And if youâ??re reading for that, thatâ??s great.â??