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A whole lot of reading for these students

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The manila folders tell the story of the first graders' accomplishments.

The folders are tattered and torn from countless trips to school in back in backpacks. They're covered in black ink -- signatures marking off each of the books the student has read with his or her parents. And this year there are more of those signatures than Judy Berg has ever had in her class.

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On Wednesday, Berg and her Parkview Elementary School students celebrated with books and cake because each of the students had read at least 100 books with their parents this year.

Berg gives the students books targeted to their reading level. When they bring one back, they get another. When they reach 100, they get to choose a book to keep and a treat from one of the candy machines at the front of Berg's room.

Berg said she'd never had so many students read so many books. Usually there are a few who forget to bring their books home, or who never seem to find time. Some are at 50 when others hit 100. But not this year.

It's an impressive accomplishment, not least because one of Berg's students just started learning English in kindergarten. The girl's parents are still learning the language, but they sit down with their daughter nearly every night and listen as she reads to them.

Berg gave equal credit for the accomplishment to students and their parents.

"This class is remarkable and it's not just the kids. It's the parents," said Berg, who refers to her students as Berg's Best Buds. "I've never had every kid in a class with parent signatures up to 100 at the same time. It's never happened."

At Wednesday's ceremony students gave certificates and candy to their parents. Berg, who has a business making wedding cakes in her spare time, brought in chocolate, vanilla and carrot cake and the kids took some time to read with their parents.

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