This year, the students and staff at Bagdad Elementary School are united in the pursuit of a central goal: to improve reading and comprehension skills while making literacy fun for students.

Evidence of the schoolwide initiative is visible from the moment the front doors open at Bagdad ES, where a bulletin board displays the amount of reading points the students have earned in the current nine-week period. During the most recent nine-week period, the goal was 15,500 points. The students surpassed the goal by earning a lofty 25,000 points. Each grade level is considered a team. Incentives encourage teams to compete to gain the most points; the last prize gave students the opportunity to see Christy Hilbun, Bagdad ES principal, and Ruth-Ann Johnson, assistant principal, taped to a wall.

Throughout the school, cozy “reading nooks” give a place for students to read in their free time. One wall display showcases an “Our Texas Bluebonnet Wall of Fame” where students sign their names under each Bluebonnet Book they read. Each “team” has a display in their grade’s hallway.

The reading goals initiative does not stop there. In P.E., students read as a part of their exercises, teachers implement classroom reading goals in dual languages, art class projects piggyback off of classroom reading projects, and even the school’s theme for the year – “Lead, Inspire, Grow” – reflects the school’s belief in the importance of reading.