Avid Student Readers from Long Island, the Bronx, and Illinois Win The LightSail 25

National reading contest inspired students to read every day and build up their reading stamina

(NEW YORK, NY – February 15, 2017) – Students from Forest Brook Elementary School in Hauppauge, NY are celebrating today, as winners of the LightSail 25 Challenge, logging an average 1,373 minutes (nearly 23 hours) of reading per student during the past month. The grand prize is a library of premium e-books for the school, valued at $3,000.

The reading contest tracked the average minutes read per participant on the LightSail platform. Second prize was awarded to a charter school in the Bronx, NY, with an average of 1,330 minutes per student during the contest, and River Trail School in Gurnee, IL, came in third place, with an average of 1,184 minutes per student. They were awarded prizes of $2,000 and $1,000 in e-books, respectively.

“Our class embraced the LightSail 25 Challenge with its usual exuberance!” said Forest Brook Elementary School fifth grade teacher Eileen Doda. “Students checked on their progress minutes every morning and were extremely proud to display these minutes on our chart. How awesome is it to also have the number 1 reader in the nation in our class? The LightSail 25 proved to build the stamina of every one of my students as a reader. I am so very proud of my students’ reading accomplishments as they worked together as a group to reach a common goal.”

Created by LightSail Education, the leading education technology dedicated to turning students everywhere into readers, the challenge was open to classrooms across the U.S. that use LightSail, uniting them with the common goal of reading as much as possible during each day of the challenge. The event ran for one month, ending February 10, 2017.

“The LightSail 25 has allowed us to encourage kids to read in a game type atmosphere with real-time feedback – which is so important to today’s kids, who are used to a competitive, gaming environment,” said River Trail School librarian Lauren Weir. “My favorite part was the daily recognition where the playing field was equalized and anybody could be in the top 10, not by reading ability, but by using grit and perseverance to put in the time. It fostered healthy competition between classes and all along the way, the end goal of kids painlessly reading more was achieved without them even realizing it!”

Janet Gonzalez, Principal of Jackson Avenue School in Mineola, NY, said the LightSail 25 Challenge succeeded in getting students to read more. “It was amazing to see our students so motivated and excited to read during the LightSail 25 Challenge,” she said. “Students were eager to view the daily standings. Their enthusiasm to read enabled them to exceed our expectations – we increased our minutes read per student from approximately 30 to nearly 500!” 

The LightSail 25 Challenge was based upon data that shows the more minutes students read, the more reading growth they achieve. LightSail analyzed the performance of more than 16,000 students to quantify the powerful impact of students reading at least 20 minutes a day on its platform. The data showed that students who read between 20-30 minutes per login grew 2.5 times typical Lexile growth, the standard classroom literacy metric. And, students who read 30 minutes or more per login had average gains three times what is considered typical.

“The LightSail 25 Challenge reinvigorated our students’ love of reading and desire to read simply for the joy of reading,” said Riverside Elementary School teacher Keith Eckert. “The greatest impact of the challenge was that many of our previously struggling readers that saw an increase in Lexile numbers as well as a rise in reading stamina that students did not believe they were capable of.”

There is additional recognition for students at schools that performed well, including those which logged overall most minutes read: Butterfield Trail Middle School of Van Buren, AR registered a total 379,670 minutes, Lafayette Street School in Newark, NJ read a total 282,184 minutes, and the Jackson Avenue School in Mineola, NY logged 217,401 minutes.


LightSail is the adaptive reading platform that helps students, classrooms, and school districts exceed their literacy goals.

LightSail students get access to personalized libraries filled with thousands of engaging, just-right texts to choose from. Our award-winning solution embeds in-text assessments that motivate students to increase the volume of their reading along with the difficulty of the texts they choose.

LightSail teachers get real-time access to meaningful data about student reading behavior, comprehension, and growth so they can provide the necessary guidance to enhance learning and encourage a love of reading. For more information, visit https://lightsailed.com.

Media Contact:

Christen Graham for LightSail Education


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