The average reading speed in the US is 250 words per minute (wpm) with 60% comprehension. The average reading speed for CEOs and doctors is 1,000 or better. At Jefferson Christian Academy, we feel that a student who can read better than the national average has a greater chance in life. All freshmen are required to take a reading class, but it is open for any other student to join.
For the past three years, our academy principal has added an incentive. The student whose reading speed is the highest (above 1,000 wpm) receives $200 cash and a $1,000-dollar scholarship. The highest score between 500 and 999 wpm receives $100 cash and a $500 scholarship. The student who increases the most from their beginning speed receives $100 cash and a $500 scholarship. The prize-winning students' names, date of success and speed is put on a brass plaque in the registrar’s office.
In April 2017, the competition really heated up. Kade Jenkins (left) won the competition at 2,686 wpm with 80% comprehension. Abbi Minett (middle) had the greatest increase at 2,529 words per minute. She started the year at 137 wpm. Thomas Gale (right) received the award for the highest score between 500 and 999 wpm.
“Our reading program has done wonders for me,” Abbi commented. “I not only increased my speed, but also my accuracy. At the beginning of the year, reading for my various classes was a trial. I would always have to reread things over and over again… I am so glad that [a] student pushed me to do better because I improved so much as a result.”
By Ellen Klinke