The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE ESOL students can earn cash incentives for reading novels By khanh Nguyen reporter

By Khanh Nguyen/reporter

SE students enrolled in developmental reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages classes can now read Oliver Twist and earn money for it.

Although not required to pass a course, the Bucks for Books program is recommended for students needing extra motivation to read more outside of class.

Students who qualify for the incentive reading program choose from a wide selection of books including Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Robin Hood, Oliver Twist, The Odyssey, The Jungle Book, Dracula, Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter.

When students complete a novel, they will discuss the book with a librarian to confirm they have read it and have their progress recorded. After each 10 books, students can receive a check for $100 up to a maximum of $300.

Since Bucks for Books’ introduction to the campus last year, 40 students have signed up, and most are still active. SE is the first campus to implement the program, and its coordinators are excited about its prospects.

“Anything that encourages people to read is going to help their grades and lives,” said Jo Klemm, SE public services librarian.

Klemm helped set up the scholarship with Mary Cinatl, SE ESOL program director, and Darla Shannon, SE reading assistant professor. Townsend Press, the publisher of the language skills textbooks used in ESOL classes, sponsors the program.

“Reading is not always enjoyable when you’re learning a second language,” Cinatl said. “Actually, it can be quite frustrating. But this reading incentive program has been well-received by the second-language learners in the ESOL program. There are so many books the students can choose from, all fairly short in length and non-intimidating. The program has provided positive reinforcement and enjoyment for the students and has given them a ‘can do’ spirit about reading.”

The distinctive culture each book represents is an additional accommodation to students, Cinatl said.

“While developing vocabulary and reading skills, this program has also taught the ESOL students about our American culture, exposed them to our American authors and classics and helped to develop their confidence,” she said.

LeAnn Rose, a psychology and child development major, heard about the program through her writing techniques class and recommends it to students who have enough time to commit.

“I’m reading books I’ve never read before,” she said. “It’s giving me a chance to do that.”

Rose’s favorite books so far are Little Women and Tom Sawyer, and she hopes to continue despite a busy schedule in school as well as at home.

Reading instructor Marsha Sanders encourages her students to participate because she believes reading is an ongoing journey that is not without rewards, and the money carrot is a welcome trigger for students.

“Our society has gotten so technological-savvy,” she said. “Reading, like any other skill, requires the person to practice. Reading helps develop academic vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, something that everybody can do. They can use that money as well.”

Students can gain more from participating in the reading program, Sanders said.

“The stories are very relevant to their lives, topics that they deal with or their friends have,” she said.

For more information on Bucks for Books, contact Klemm at 817-515-3388 or or visit lib


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