Valley Intermediate again makes world record book

Officails with the Scholastic company surprised students and faculty members at Valley Intermediate School by naming them to the 2014 World Record book. (Contributed)

Officails with the Scholastic company surprised students and faculty members at Valley Intermediate School by naming them to the 2014 World Record book. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham’s Valley Intermediate School has been making a name for itself across the nation over the past couple of years, much to the delight of school Librarian Mary Foy.

On Oct. 31, Foy and VIS Principal Dana Payne were “pleasantly surprised” to learn the school had earned a spot in the 2014 Scholastic Book of World Records.

Both appearances in the record book came as a result of VIS students’ desire to read everything they could get their hands on during the summer break. Last summer, the school’s students read a total of 248,849 minutes, earning the top spot in Alabama in the Scholastic Summer Challenge Program.

Through the voluntary challenge, which was sponsored by the Scholastic book company, kids got a chance to choose their own books to read throughout the summer. The kids logged their reading hours from May-August and turned them in upon returning to school.

The 2014 version of the world record book will spotlight Valley Intermediate for the second consecutive year. During the summer of 2012, VIS students tallied more than 1 million summer reading minutes, and earned the No. 11 spot in the world for the Summer Challenge Program.

“Anything we can do to get them to read during that summer break is good. Whatever it takes,” Foy said. “Two-and-a-half months is a long time for someone to go without even looking at a book.

“Literature tells us that students reading during the summer keeps them from losing ground while they are out of school,” Foy added. “Summer reading is an essential activity to maintain and improve skills while on a break from school.”