Cranium Crunch at Lunch: A Book Club to Increase Reading Levels


Ginny VidulichGinny Vidulich
Louisville Middle School
Louisville, CO
Grades 6–7
626 students

“Because an attached student is likely to be a successful student, it is our mission to ensure every learner has the opportunity to grow a sense of belonging through involvement in extracurricular activities.

“Since becoming assistant principal, intramural offerings have increased 50 percent and activities 25 percent. As a result of purposeful strategies, nearly 90 percent of Louisville Middle School (LMS) students have participated in at least one school-sponsored extracurricular activity this year.

“I track participation, academics, and behavior of all 626 LMS students with a data-tracking spreadsheet that helps guide me to ensure no student is invisible. I personally talk with students to encourage participation and enlist staff to do the same. More than 80 percent of teachers sponsor or coach an activity. We recently added robotics and dance club to draw in students who hadn’t joined in. This builds relationships in and out of the classroom.

“I also pay for necessities, such as athletic shoes, with our Student Opportunity Fund. It is no coincidence that students and teachers build relationships that transcend the activities and benefit the entire school community. Chronic attendance problems have been reduced; currently only one child is below 80 percent attendance. Behavior incidents have decreased by 30 percent and student achievement has increased.”