For the second year in a row, the SuperBowl Champion Green Bay Packers are hosting the Tundra Tales Reading Program* for children in "grades 4K-5" (or approximately ages four through 11 for those of us who don't pay much attention to the institutional schools' grade-level construct). The program runs from January 23 through March 25, and requires kids to read (or be read to) for just 60 minutes a week beyond their "school reading."
It's open to all kids - not just Green Bay or Wisconsin residents and not even just Packer fans (yes, even the one child somewhere in America who is still a Vikings fan could join!). Kids who complete the program and return their ledgers will all receive coupons for either two tickets to the Packer Hall of Fame or one of two incredible desserts at Curly's Pub in Lambeau Field.
I learned of this program by accident last year right before it officially launched, and - being the advocate for home education that I am! - promptly inquired about homeschooled kids' eligibility. And I was duly impressed. The organization not only wanted to include us - in fact, the coordinator had been seeking a contact person within the homeschool community - but it gave us extra time to register our kids since we'd found out about it at the last minute. And this year the coordinator made a point of emailing me in late December, specifically asking if I could once again promote the program among homeschoolers. So, yes, the Packers are champions of fairness and intellectual freedom as well as football!
Of course, if your kids are anything like most homeschooled children, they might be able to complete the program in little more than a week - my girls, for example, often read 30 to 60 minutes or more per day above their required bookwork - so it probably won't be a hard goal for most to meet. But for reluctant readers, this might serve as a strong motivation...and occasional external rewards are fun even for those who are internally motivated.
Click here* for more information and to print out ledgers for each of your children (FYI: disregard the 2011 dates listed at the link; the organization forgot to update that page from last year, but all the pdf files do have the correct dates). But you needn't actually complete the entry form; instead, simply send an email to the coordinator (indicating "Homeschool Registration for Tunda Tales" in the subject line) with the following information:
- school name (saying just "homeschool" is completely acceptable);
- mailing address (so coupons can be sent);
- teacher's name;
- children's names and ages (first names only are fine);
- email address.
The registration deadline is January 20. Let's all show our appreciation for how the Packers have extended open arms to homeschooled kids by signing up and spreading the word!
* NOTE - If the link does not work for some reason, simply follow this chain: www.packers.com to Lambeau Field (upper right corner) to Hall of Fame to Tundra Tales.