IditaRead™ Project – Students Read Along the Trail

Race to Nome on a Reading Challenge!

3rd grade 6,958 pagesAn IditaRead™is a reading project that challenges students to read. 

IditaReads™ are often held during the Iditarod, but some schools opt to use a longer period of time or hold their IditaRead™ during a different time of the school year. 

An important aspect of an IditaRead™ is that each participating school decides upon guidelines according to the reading level and abilities of the students. 

Number of pages, number of books, numbers of minutes read, or even number of books or pages a child is read to, are recorded during the reading race. 

Some IditaRead™ projects are individual challenges while others are classroom or group challenges.  No matter the specific rules or guidelines set up, the purpose of an IditaRead™ is to encourage students to read.  Educators involved in reading challenges such as this project have discovered that students ‘racing to Nome’ embrace the reading challenge and read, read, read along the Iditarod Trail!

If you hold an IditaRead™ in your classroom, we’d love to hear about it.  Click here.

3rd grade 6,076 pagesAccording educator to Helynn Schufletowski, Wisconsin, students she worked with embraced this project with great enthusiasm.



To record the number of pages, cutout dogs were used to represent a specific number of pages.  Each cutout dog figure represented a specific number of pages that were read. 

“The 34 third grade students in our local elementary school read over 13,000 pages during the Idita-Read project this year!  The two classrooms had a friendly competition to see which class could reach the finish line first.  Each dog in the picture represents 49 pages read.  One class read 6,076 pages while the other class read 6,958 pages during the two week long race.  How cool is that?”
 Hallway poster 2
Helynn goes on to tell us, “These classes also learned about the care and diet of sled dogs as well as the history of sled dogs in Alaska.  During the race, the students kept track of the number of dogs their musher had coming into, and going out of, each checkpoint.  Their emphasis was, “It’s All About the Dogs!” 
Elsewhere in the school….
The fourth grade classes tracked mushers.
The second grade teachers read Read It To Believe It! Adventure in Alaska by S.A. Kramer to their students and also had an Idita-Read project.  Nineteen of the 52 students read for 20 minutes each night during the month of March and made it all the way to Nome on their checkpoint charts. 
“We also had the pleasure of having Zoya DeNure and her husband, John Schandelmeier, visit our school and give a presentation to our entire student body culminating with a trip outside to meet some of their sled dogs and see the equipment they use.  It was a day that our students will never forget!”
(Thanks, Helynn!)
* All photos were sent by Helynn for use in this article.  Thanks, Helynn!

IditaRead Helynn

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All photos in this gallery are by Iditarod Trail Committee. Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the photographer.