The local firefighters union has issued a challenge to elementary students in the Blackfoot and Snake River school districts during the month of February—read as much and as often as you can.
The students will be rewarded for their efforts, of course.
The Blackfoot Firefighters of Local 4454 will reward the students who read the most minutes with a ride to school in a fire truck and dinner with the firefighters at the station.
The top class in each district will receive cash and a pizza party. For the top school, firefighters will serve lunch to the students.
Participating schools include Ridge Crest, Stalker, Stoddard, Wapello and Fort Hall Elementary schools in Blackfoot and Riverside, Rockford and Snake River Middle School in the Snake River School District.
Last year their challenge got a remarkable response—students in eight schools read more than two million minutes.
"We saw numbers way beyond what we thought we would," firefighter Tony Catt said. "We just want to keep growing it."
Students last year set the bar high—then-Stalker Elementary third grader Anissa Bowen read 8,865 minutes and Riverside Elementary second grader Trey Poulter read 4,280 minutes.
Catt said the program also allows the firefighters to go into schools, to get to know the students and is just one way they work to give something back to the community.