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Million Word Campaign

The School-Wide Literacy Program for Jefferson Middle School

“Few children learn to love books by themselves. Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word; someone has to show them the way”. -  Orville Prescott

Million Word Campaign

The Million Word Campaign is a literacy strategy that unites students and staff around reading. It helps students to achieve the English Language Arts Content Standard for California that requires middle school students to read a million words annually on their own. This equates to approximately 25 grade-level books.

Student achievement is recognized throughout the school year in the following ways:

JMS Million Word Campaign Jaguar Paws:

  • First book = 1 Jaguar Paw
  • Five books = 5 more Jaguar Paws

Certificates and Prizes at the end of the quarter R.E.A.L. Assembly - Prizes and Medals at the year-end Assemblies:

  • 5-19 books = Ice cream and a bronze medal
  • 20-24 books = Ice cream, pizza, and a silver medal
  • 25 or more books = Ice cream, pizza, Jamba Juice and a gold medal
  • Top male and female reader for both 6th and 7th grade are presented with a book
  • Top male and female reader for 8th grade are presented with The John Steinbeck Award and The Pearl S. Buck Award respectively
  • All 8th grade gold medalists are given a book as a gift from the librarian




1 – Book

5 Jaguar Paws


5 – Books

10 Jaguar Paws


15 – Books

Bronze Medal – Ice cream party


20 – Books

Silver Medal – Pizza Party


25 – Books

Gold Medal – JMS Reading Champion Pin & Jamba Juice!



Benefits of Reading Aloud to Middle School Students

You expand their imagination.

By reading aloud to your students you let them explore people, places, times and events beyond their own experiences.

You provide new knowledge.

By reading aloud to your students you introduce them to ideas, experiences, and concepts that they might not get otherwise.

You support language acquisition.

By reading aloud to your students you are modeling the functions of language and language use – you are teaching them about intonation and the natural rhythm of the English language.

You are building vocabulary.

Saying something aloud in context is very powerful – the words being spoken can take on a life of their own and become a part of you – a part of your vocabulary.

You are promoting reading.

By getting excited about books, taking the time to read aloud to your students and sharing your interest in books, you inspire students to be readers – you demonstrate that books are a source of pleasant, valuable and exciting experiences.

You are creating a community.

By reading aloud to your students you give them something to talk about; you are providing a base for discussion.

You are helping to develop critical thinking.

The process of listening, questioning and responding to a story read out loud provides a foundation for both reflective and critical thinking.

You are improving comprehension.

When you read to your students you lift the burden of physically reading the text and the students are able to practice their comprehension skills.

You are improving their listening skills and lengthening their attention span.

By reading aloud you give students the time to practice focusing and developing their attention span.

You are providing fluency models.

By reading aloud with pauses and emphases we allow students to better understand the phrasing and fluency of our language.