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Reading is Cool FAQ

Q. How long is this year's program?
This year's program will run from the beginning of October 2016 to April 2017, with registration beginning Tuesday, August 16. Teachers begin tracking reading on October 1, with the first report (October) due by November 7, 2016. The last report (April) will be due by May 8, 2017.

Q. When and how do I submit my monthly report?
All monthly reports and Top Reader of the Year reports must be submitted online. Please select Tracking & Reporting from the Reading Is Cool home page. Teachers can enter any report at any time, but to qualify for Top Classrooms of the Month book deliveries from S.J. Sharkie, the following reporting deadlines apply:

Report - Due Date
October - November 1-7
November - December 1-7
December - January 1-7
January - February 1-7
MVP Reader - February 1-7
February - March 1-7
March - April 1-7
April - May 1-7

Please note that the name of the MVP Reader will need to be submitted before the conclusion of the school year in order to select winners for the All-Star Reader Night in late March. Though you may wait to give your MVP Reader medal out when the program is fully completed at the end of April, All-Star Reader Night must occur before then to coincide with the conclusion of the San Jose Sharks regular season.

Q. What do I do if I have multiple classrooms?
Teachers with multiple classrooms should register each class individually, using the same email address. A different email address for each class is NOT necessary. Each class will receive separate materials and monthly awards. Teachers will need to submit a report for each class every month.

Q. When and how does my class receive their materials?
Classes will receive posters and monthly awards in mailings during the middle of October. All materials will be mailed to the address provided in the registration process.

Q. Why track number of pages instead of books?
Within grades the reading levels of students can be vastly different and some students may read many short books while others are reading a fewer number of longer books. Because we need a method for awarding S.J. Sharkie's Top Classrooms of the Month visits, we believe number of pages provides the greatest parity.

Q. Do we count pages that students read at home? What about pages that are read to them?
The goal is to get students to read more books and to improve their reading level. You should count all pages that students read, whether it is in school or at home, but please only count each page once. K-2nd Grade students may also count pages that are read to them, and 3rd-5th Grade students may count easy pages that they read to a sibling or younger child. Making sure that each student is reading at the appropriate level is up to the teacher and parents.

Q. Do the All-Star Reader and year-end MVP Reader have to be the student that read the most pages?
While many teachers may award the medals based on the number of pages read, this may cause the same student to win each month and other students who are working very hard may lose their desire to participate, believing they will never win. For this reason, we encourage teachers to consider other criteria for All-Star Readers, such as greatest improvement, most effort shown etc. Ultimately the choice is left to each teacher to make the program work for their class.

Q. What do I do if I have two students tie for the monthly award?
Because our program does tend to fill to capacity, we have very few medals left over after registration and cannot provide classes with extra awards. You will need to create a process for breaking ties, perhaps by awarding the medal to a student who has shown special effort. A printable "Monthly Certificate of Achievement" award is available on the Resources page for teachers to access if they feel a second student deserves additional recognition.

Q. When are monthly awards distributed?
Individual student awards are awarded by the teacher at the end of the month, once pages have been totaled. Classroom deliveries by S.J. Sharkie will occur the month after reports are submitted (i.e. October's Top Classrooms will receive visits in November, etc.).

Q. How do you determine the Top Classrooms of the Month? How will my fifth grade classroom win if my students have to read as many pages as a first grade class?
Each month S.J. Sharkie will make his Top Classrooms of the Month visits to the classroom from each grade that has read the most number of pages per student (based on information provided in the monthly reports) and eight other classes selected at random, for a total of 15 visits. Also, because we hope to spread the joy of reading to as many classrooms as possible, each class is only able to win one visit from S.J. Sharkie in a given year. However, classes will only be considered for this award if a total has actually been submitted for that month.

Q. How can we find out who is winning the monthly classroom awards?
Monthly classroom winners are listed on the Top Classroom of the Month page on our website shortly after monthly reports are due.

Q. Previously there were fieldtrips to the arena. Are these still offered?
The fieldtrip component of Reading Is Cool has changed. The Sharks Foundation has instituted "Celebrity Story Hour", which features San Jose Sharks athletes and staff reading from their favorite children's books, will occur during the season. "Celebrity Story Hour" is open to all Reading Is Cool participants. Teachers will be notified once the dates have been scheduled. 

Q. What is the contact information for Reading Is Cool?
We can be reached via the following:

Phone: Amber Cottle Fan Development Coordinator (408) 999-5858
Fax: (408) 999-5797
ReadingIsCool@sjsharks.com or acottle@sharkssports.net