‘SO SELF-MOTIVATED’12-year-old sets reading record at Warrenton

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Zachary Moore is a goal-oriented student.

At the beginning of the school year, the 12-year-old approached Warrenton Elementary School librarian Jennifer Nelson with a goal to read enough books to earn 1,000 Accelerated Reader points.

“As a librarian, it’s wonderful to see a child that motivated,” Nelson said of Zachary, who will be entering the seventh grade at Vicksburg Junior High School in August.

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Zachary reached his goal and finished the school year with 1,113.2 AR points, the highest number for elementary schools in the Vicksburg Warren School District and a record for his school, Nelson said.

“He’s one of the best readers I’ve encountered,” Nelson said. “It’s wonderful that he not only met his goal, but went above and beyond it.”

Accelerated Reader is a program that allows children to take comprehension tests when they finish reading a book and keep up with the amount they’ve read. Longer books with a higher reading level are worth more AR points.

Zachary, who is the son of Catherine Stephens and Don Moore, both of Vicksburg, said he read about 30 books to reach his goal over the year, and most of his books were between 700 and 800 pages.

“I started reading more in third grade with Harry Potter,” Zachary said. “I really liked them, so I started reading other thick books.”

Zachary said his favorite genre of book is anything mystical or different types of fantasy novels.

“Buying books is something he does with his own money,” Stephens said. “It’s something he does on his own, and he just loves it.”

Though Zachary loves to read, he said he’s more interested in math and science. In fact, science was the basis for one of his first goals when he was in kindergarten.

“On the first day of school the children went around and said what they wanted to be when they grew up,” Stephens said. “When the teacher made it to Zachary he said, ‘I want to find the cure for cancer. I want to be a scientist.’”

“I like math and science better,” Zachary said. “It just comes naturally to me.”

“When Zachary came to me with the reading goal he set for himself, he had it all mapped out,” Nelson said. “He knew how many books he had to read to reach his goal, and the sky is the limit for him. He’s just so self-motivated.”