Reading is Key » Reading is Key: Incentive Contest

Reading is Key: Incentive Contest

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MPUSD has launched its Reading is Key literacy initiative to share and prioritize the district's work toward improving literacy experiences and outcomes for students. It is with great pleasure to announce the launch of a district-wide literacy excellence celebration, aimed at recognizing and celebrating the outstanding efforts of educators and students in promoting foundational literacy skills and fostering a love for reading within MPUSD schools.


MPUSD's vision of pre-school through eighth grade literacy is that students will master foundational literacy skills by 3rd grade while having explicit opportunities to be thoughtfully literate across all grades. Educators will engage students in daily decoding, comprehension, and writing routines, facilitate discourse, welcome productive mistakes, support language development, and foster joy in their classrooms. All adults will demonstrate the shared belief that every student is capable of mastering grade-level content, will acknowledge that our beliefs and biases shape student outcomes, and will commit to continual learning in service of improved comprehensive literacy and language instruction.


MPUSD's ultimate priority is to provide equitable instruction to every student, every day. Equitable instruction, as defined by UnboundEd, is characterized by its commitment to grade-level appropriateness, engagement, affirmation, and meaningfulness. This approach ensures that tasks and texts are aligned with grade level and college and career anchor standards, promoting academic rigor and readiness. By fostering engagement, educators cultivate a sense of persistence and curiosity among students, making learning both relevant and captivating. Moreover, affirming instruction acknowledges and celebrates the diverse ethnic, racial, and linguistic identities within the classroom, creating an inclusive learning environment where every student feels valued and represented. Finally, meaningful instruction goes beyond surface-level comprehension by encouraging students to critically examine and challenge dominant cultural norms, empowering them to advocate for equity and societal change.


MPUSD is inviting nominations for the following categories:


  • The District Visionaries: For the school that exemplifies strong literacy practices and routines across the campus. Educators uphold equitable instruction of grade level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful literacy instruction, every day. 
  • The Literacy Leader: For the teacher demonstrating outstanding dedication, innovation, and leadership in fostering literacy skills among their own students and supporting colleagues to do the same through the thoughtful implementation of district-approved instructional materials and strategies.
  • The Literacy Legend: For the teacher who has achieved significant reading gains/growth for many years among their students through structured literacy practices.
  • The Literacy Innovator: Recognizing educators who fearlessly change practices in order to explore new dimensions of literacy, blending MPUSD's Core Literacy Practices with cutting-edge research-based district-approved instructional materials and strategies.
  • The Language Luminary: For the teacher demonstrating outstanding success in developing the literacy skills and language development of emergent bilingual students/English Language Learners (ELLs).
  • The Data Dynamo: For the K-3 teacher who effectively utilizes Phonics to Reading Benchmark data to drive responsive Tier I instruction and intervention strategies to better enhance student literacy growth and achievement.
  • Literacy Key Achiever Award: Recognizing students' outstanding achievements and contributions to literacy, symbolizing their role as keys to unlocking the world of reading and learning.
  • Literacy Trailblazer Award: Celebrating a student's pioneering spirit in overcoming challenges and making significant progress in their literacy journey.


Winners in each category will receive recognition and prizes:


  • Teacher Nominations: A commemorative “Reading is Key” t-shirt and sticker
  • Teacher Winners: A $500 "Key to Reading Renovation Award" for a literacy makeover in the classroom, along with a commemorative t-shirt. The "Key to Reading Renovation Award" emphasizes the transformative impact of enhancing classroom environments to promote reading engagement and proficiency.
  • Student Nominations: Bookmarks and stickers to celebrate their achievements.
  • Student Winners: T-shirts, gift certificates for Scholastic Books, bookmarks and stickers to celebrate their achievements.
  • School Winner: A "Reading Is Key" Trophy to display prominently to their community and all staff members get a commemorative “Reading is Key” t-shirt and sticker.

All members of the MPUSD and school community are encouraged to participate by nominating deserving candidates who embody the spirit of literacy excellence. Please use the attached nomination form to submit your nominations by April 30, 2024; we will recognize and celebrate nominations and winners in May 2024.

Let’s come together to celebrate and honor the remarkable dedication and achievements in literacy across our district. 


Nominate a colleague today!