Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- October 8, 2004
Second Annual "Rowdy About Reading" Program
Some 6,000 Kern County elementary school students are participating in the
second annual "Rowdy About Reading" program, sponsored by the California State
University, Bakersfield Athletics Department, The Bakersfield Californian, Mayor
Harvey Hall and family, and radio station KUZZ.
Rowdy About Reading is a comprehensive reading program that rewards elementary
school students for their efforts in the classroom and at home. It's designed to
promote literacy and endorse teamwork, as classrooms work together to reach a
Rowdy About Reading information was sent to all Kern County Schools via fax and
"Last year we had nearly 4,000 students in 192 classrooms participating," said
Sarah Slayton, CSUB athletics marketing manager. "This year we have more than
6,000 students from throughout Bakersfield, to Shafter, Wasco, Delano, McFarland,
Tehachapi and even Lost Hills. The response has been phenomenal."
Rowdy About Reading organizers worked with local teachers and librarians in an
effort to arrive at a compatible point system with an elementary school curriculum.
They arrived at a system that is realistic and challenging, but rewarding, Slayton
The Rowdy About Reading program is designed to provide teachers and children with
a fun way to promote literacy through reading at home and in the classroom. Here's
how it works:
Classrooms participate in the program by accumulating points for their entire
class, as a team would work for a common objective. As each classroom collects
points, its students are rewarded with gifts from the CSUB Spirit Store each
time they reach a new point level.
During the program, CSUB athletes donate their time every Friday until February
visiting all of the participating classrooms. Softball, volleyball, soccer,
track-and-field, basketball, and swimming athletes all help to make the program
a success. "The CSUB athletes make the biggest impact on the children," Slayton
said. "Our athletes have been very generous with their time and have given the
program a very personal touch.
They are great role models for Kern County youth and, hopefully, have made these
young students look at CSUB as a place to continue their education."
The point system is based on the volume of books read by a classroom. Each book
read is worth a point. Each Friday, the teachers in the participating classrooms
call or e-mail Slayton with the number of books read throughout the week. Slayton
keeps the totals and send each class a weekly progress report. Children receive
prizes each time they reach a new point level.
Prizes are as follows:
A pizza party for the leading class is scheduled during the winter break.
- 50 points, "Get Rowdy" pencils.
- 125 points, A Rowdy growth chart.
- 200 points, Roadrunner pencil toppers.
- 250 points, Rowdy book covers.
- 300 points, bookmark.
The Rowdy About Reading winning classroom, which will be announced in February
2005, will receive use of the KUZZ suite at Centennial Garden for a CSUB
"The response has been overwhelming," Slayton said. "We're very pleased. It's
such a great way to encourage kids to read."
For more information about the Rowdy About Reading program, please contact
Slayton at (661) 664-2345.
Media Contact: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456,