Reading Scholarships

An Individualized Reading Scholarship Contest  
for Developmental College Students Using the Ten Steps Series

For years, TP promoted reading by conducting a nationwide reading contest for college students taking a developmental reading or writing course.  In a nutshell, if students read 10 books supplied by TP, they would earn a $100 scholarship. If they read 20, $200; if they read 30, $300.

Here is how the contest worked. After students read a book, they called a toll-free number. Our contest coordinator spoke to them briefly to confirm they had read the book. They would then get another book to read, and so on.

While the contest was a success, TP had to limit the number of participating students from any one class or school, lest our coordinator be overwhelmed.

In an effort to make the program more manageable, we experimented with individualized contests at two schools. For each, a person at the school was the coordinator. That person publicized and enrolled students in the contest, gave them a first book to read, met with them briefly to confirm that they had read the book, and passed along to them a new book. That person kept a record of all participating students and how many books they had read. At the end of a semester, the coordinator sent us the names and addresses of students who had read 10 books or more. TP then sent award checks to those students. That model was a success—one that we'd like to offer to your college!

If you are a developmental college teacher using the Townsend Press Ten Steps series (this contest is not open to middle and high schools) who wants to be a contest coordinator for your students, here is what you need to do:

1. Read about two contests currently in operation at Reading (PA) Area Community College and Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

2. If it is realistic to have the contest at your school, send us a short letter to the following address:

Reading Scholarship Coordinator
Townsend Press
439 Kelley Drive
West Berlin, NJ 08091

You must contact us through the mail—not through e-mail! And the person who contacts us must be the person who will be in charge of the contest. 

In your note, tell us how you plan to conduct the contest, include your address and contact information, and we’ll promptly send you a kit that will get you started.

  • Sample Programs for Reading Scholarships

    These are two examples of the ways that colleges run their Reading Scholarship programs. more »