Jack Kemp Community School students have been boosting their reading skills while giving back to the community.

The elementary school will soon be wrapping up “Jack Kemp Reads for a Cause,” a month-long initiative to get students reading by rewarding them when they complete certain goals. Teachers in each classroom set the goals for the month with every class participating in the event.

Students are encouraged to read by participating in virtual events through the library, independent as well as in-class reading and in turn will get rewards like double recess, snacks, movies or draw-entries for giveaways.

Librarian Lynette Thoresen says the theme behind the event is based on the children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

“The moral of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is about adapting to change and accepting all for who they are which is very poignant at this time with everything that’s going on in the world. So as they reach each goal the caterpillar will grow with them.”

“Anything we can do to engage learners and keep them reading or foster a love of reading is a bonus. They’re all excited because they want to see the caterpillar grow and earn those rewards.”

Not only are the students benefiting from the campaign, but the Lloydminster Salvation Army will too. All recyclables and donations made during January will be going to the local food bank.

“It’s a little something our kids could do to give back and say thank you for all the support that they receive from our community.”

The initiative coincides with Family Literacy Day on January 27 and Thoresen says the literacy push will continue into the next month for Aboriginal Storytelling Month and Read Across Canada.