Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Meal with the MAYOR

Second-grader reads 100 books to eat lunch with Hudson

Dustin Cartmill likes to play soccer, eat cheese pizza and read books.

“Body books are my favorite,” says the 7-year-old Dudley Elementary second-grader.

Those are books about the human body, he explains. Maybe someday he’ll be a doctor.

Or a mayor.

Dustin has been collecting points earned with successful Accelerated Reader quizzes.

His teacher, Justin Dowdy, estimates he read 100 or more books to earn 51 points.

Dustin could have spent the points earlier in the school year on such things as a homework pass, the first spot in the lunch line, a kite or even 30 minutes of iPad time while other students study.

He chose lunch with a community member.

He could have eaten with a fireman, a a doctor or anyone else in town.

He picked Gothenburg mayor, Joyce Hudson.

“The mayor is a big deal,” Dustin says with excitement spilling out of his wiggling little body. “I’ve never met a mayor.”

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a program Dudley uses to help improve student literacy. After reading a book, students take AR quizzes to test comprehension.

Most second-grade books are worth a half a point. Accumulated points can be spent at the AR store in the library at the end of each quarter, with prize costs ranging from five to 100 points.

Lunch at Pizza Hut with Hudson was worth 50 points.

Smiling the whole time, Dustin couldn’t sit still while he told Hudson about his family, his teacher, the school music program and AR.

As mayor, Hudson makes plenty of public appearances. Lunch with youngsters isn’t a regular one but she said if it’s incentive to keep kids reading, it’s worth her time.

Dustin deemed his lunch date “one of the best days of my life.”