Bus #17 students receive certificates for achieving reading goals
Ponca City Now - April 25, 2019 9:18 am
Back row, from left, are Woodlands students Addylinn Gowdy, Xander O’Brien, bus driver Teresa Black, Christian Muralt, Cash Day, RayLee Edwards, Ethan Bright, and Woodlands Principal Tim Williams. Front row, Addison Bright, Delaney Jackson, Candence Jackson, Hadley Taglidaleta, Brenten Wynn, and Austin Bates.
Ponca City Public School bus driver Teresa Black is transforming her school bus rides into a fun learning experience where children can foster their love of reading as they commute to and from school.
For some children, their first learning environment is stepping on that school bus, but sometimes it can be a scary, stressful place. Black sees this as a way to help students be quiet, engaged, and stay seated. It helps riders behave while complementing what they learned in school.
“I came up with an idea for a new program on my bus this year to help students reach their reading goals,” Black said. “Students are expected to read a book and then their teacher gives them a test about it. I have kids ask me questions like ‘What does this word mean’ or ‘How do you pronounce this word?’
“The kids are excited about reading, telling me how close they are to reaching their goals. One morning I asked a student where his book was because he was supposed to have a test on it that day. He said he forgot it, so I told him I would wait on him to go back in his house to get it,” Black said.
“Next year we are going to play Bingo on the bus,” the driver said. “In the Bingo slots will be different things they might do such as: ‘I helped another student today’ or ‘I stayed seated on the bus today’ or ‘I said thank you today.’ I am just trying to make going to school and riding the bus a fun learning experience.”
Each rider on Bus #17 who achieves their reading goal receives a certificate from Black that says, “Congratulations! This award is presented for completing your reading goal! I am so proud of you! Great job!” The students also receive meal vouchers from the Ponca City McDonald’s for a free breakfast or lunch meal. The restaurant wanted to be a part of rewarding students for achieving their reading goals.