Local kid shows us the importance of reading


"For any parents or soon to be parents just make reading a priority," Aimee said. "It doesn’t have to be something you do for a ton of time every single day, because even if you just read for 10 minutes with your child that would really help."

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFTA) — In the age of electronics and social media, one kid is showing us the importance of books.

Maxwell Clevenger is a fourth-grader at Shiloh Christian and every year since the first grade he has broken the elementary school’s reading record.

I switched backpacks because I think I had like 16 or 17 books in my backpack.


What started as a sibling rivalry turned into a lifestyle for 9-year-old Maxwell.

I also know there was a little competition with your sister?

“Bragging rights is what I’d call it because she’s not in it anymore,” Maxwell said.

At Shiloh Christian Elementary, the school promotes reading through a program called accelerated reader — known as “AR”.

It’s a point system that shows teachers what students reading levels are and Maxwell’s current AR points are at a record high.

He says he’s read six and a half million words to get there.

Do your friends like to read as much as you do? “Noooo,” Maxwell said.

He is around 1,000 AR points and at his current pace, he will hit 1,300 to 1,500 for the school year. 

He has broken all Shiloh elementary AR school records.

“I’ve read every single Rick Riordan mythology book,” he said.

Siloh Christian Elementary Computer Teacher Pamela Vaughan said reading is the foundation of everything you do.

The more they develop a love for reading the better it’s going to be for them all the way through school.


That’s why Maxwell’s mom, Aimee Davis Clevenger, said she celebrates her son’s love for reading — especially since it’s intertwined with his love for all things sports.

“It is such a gift to go through that and watch your child develop that skill,” she said. “But I do think it’s important to be balanced because those social skills are important outside of reading as well.”

Maxwell’s parents and teachers said they hope his passion can show kids that reading is cool and can open up tremendous opportunities — and even a great vocabulary.

“It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money,” Aimee said. “You have these resources available to you through the public library so make sure you’re using them too.”

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