Intel and Rio Rancho Public Schools recently teamed up on a new reading initiative titled “Reading for Miles,” which challenged each second grader across the district’s 12 elementary schools to read as much as possible.

The young students read for 381,814 minutes in March, which is National Reading Month. The students logged their reading time, and nearly 50 of the top readers won a new bike, given by the district and assembled by nearly 40 Intel New Mexico volunteers earlier this year. The Intel employee volunteer time was included in Intel’s volunteer matching grants, a program that donates to nonprofits and schools when Intel employees volunteer their time.

“The Intel Reading for Miles partnership will make a lasting impact on students’ love of and skills in reading,” Carl Leppelman, chief academic officer at Rio Rancho Public Schools said. “Research shows there is a strong correlation between the amount of independent reading by students and an increase in reading achievement. Independent reading can improve children’s reading fluency, vocabulary and background knowledge — so critical to new learning.  The Intel Reading for Miles Challenge was not only fun for students, but also motivated students to develop the ‘habit of reading,’ so critical for future success. We appreciate Intel’s continued dedication to students in Rio Rancho.”

Ernest Stapleton Elementary School was the top finisher with 111,349 minutes, and ESE student Aurelia Wilhelm was the number-one reader in the district with 6,704 minutes.
“We are so proud of our students for dedicating so much of their time to reading with joy,” ESE librarian/media specialist Laraine Hostetler said. “Our second graders had a marvelous time exploring new stories and talking about books with their teachers and classmates. We are so thankful to Intel for motivating our students to develop good reading habits and to choose reading stories more often over technology. We learned that if we tried reading together with purpose, we can achieve anything.  We also learned that although Stapleton was the overall winner of the competition, with reading, everyone can win.”
Here’s how the other 11 elementary schools did in the contest (top reader for each school in parenthesis):
  • Colinas Del Norte: 32,529 minutes (Kayla Torres Quiroz 1,775)
  • Cielo Azul: 16,051 (Lanayah Banks 2,310)
  • Enchanted Hills: 37,657 (Chase Pina 3,451)
  • Joe Harris: 33,677 (Raiden Hill 4,945)
  • Maggie Cordova: 13,892 (Amy Kelly 1,900)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary: 46,540 (Josiah Lopez 2,656)
  • Puesta Del Sol: 8,231 (Jace Reeves 897)
  • Rio Rancho Elementary: 12,389 (Jasper Johnson 1,624)
  • Sandia Vista: 13,125 (Camila Rivera 2,257)
  • SpaRRk Academy: 4,944 (Greyson Daniels 1,558)
  • Vista Grande: 51,380 (Koko Menka 1,386)
Intel provided weekly incentive prizes to the students for their reading effort.  Each school also provided additional incentives to motivate their students to practice good reading habits and to develop their personal reading stories by reading books that are personally engaging  and validating their culture.

“We know that reading is a vitally important and fundamental skill for children to continue learning and succeeding in school and in life,” said Raquel Leon, external affairs manager at Intel New Mexico. “Intel was so excited to work with the district on this new initiative, help inspire students to read, and enable the district to give nearly 50 bikes to the students with the most reading time logged in each second-grade class.”