The first grade students of Margaret L. Vetter School in Eatontown have accepted the challenge of the Mayor's Book Club program, knowing that it will benefit their school and their stomachs.
The Mayor's Book Club is a program instituted by the Educational Foundation of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, and Monmouth University that encourages children to read.
Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo visited the school last week and told students if they can read 1,000 books by May, that the school will receive $1,000 for its library.
Tarantolo said he would add something special if the children reach the 1,000-book mark.
"I'll throw in a pizza party on top of it," Tarantolo said.
That got the children excited as they let out a cheer after the mayor's announcement.
Tarantolo told them reading is an "escape" and can bring you to places.
"How many of you would like to go to the moon, or the bottom of the ocean," Tarantolo asked the children. "Reading allows you to escape into any domain that you want."
Tarantolo then read "Grace for President" to the students and answered a few questions before wishing the children good luck on their challenge.
An added incentive for the children is the fact that they can take home a book to keep if they can read eight individually.
Their parents will have to sign a sheet after each book is completed and their teachers will also help them keep track of the total.
First grade teachers Lara Neary, Jamie Johnson and Tiffany Boufford are the first grade teachers who will be assisting them.
We'll check back with the school on May 1 to see if the students have completed their challenge and earned the cash and pizza they are going to be working hard for over the next four months.