Every February, schools across Manitoba, specifically Portage la Prairie, participate in 'I Love to Read' activities by celebrating the good ol' joy of reading books.

This year, at Fort la Reine School, they have challenged students to collectively read 60,000 minutes of books this month.

Principal Matt Harkness says this was a change from last year when they challenged their students by the number of pages.

"We thought rather than focus on speeding through books. We're going to focus on the quality of reading and look at minutes as opposed to pages or numbers of books."

Harkness shares that each teacher will follow how close the school is to their goal each week by tracking how many minutes each student has contributed.

"We're going to announce at the end of each week on our afternoon announcements where we are at in regards to minutes, and we have a goal of 60,000. If we get there, we're going to do a whole school reward, which has not been decided yet."

The Principal adds that this is an excellent time of year for students to grow together through literacy.

"This year, our theme for our school is, 'Stories that connect us.' We have lots of community members coming into our school to read, and we're looking at stories that relate to communities."

Harkness notes that as a school, they are excited to celebrate 'I Love to Read' the way they used to before COVID-19, where students can interact through different classrooms and grades.