“Read 20 Rockets” is the name of the new reading initiative happening at Neshoba Central.

High School Principal Jason Gentry describes the initiative as a conversation starter.

“You know when a teacher starts class in the morning, the first 5, 10, 15 minutes of class, you can just have a general conversation piece. Just ask individual students what did you read last night and some may have read something and some may not have, but the ones that did, they can broaden some other people’s knowledge,” says Gentry.

Superintendent Dr. Lundy Brantley hopes the initiative will bring awareness to the importance of reading.

“If you read 20 minutes or more every day you are exposed to 1.8 million more words through your lifetime and you’re more likely to score in the 90th percentile on any act or any type of standardized test,” says Dr. Brantley.

Rachel Kiepe works hand in hand with students and books daily as the librarian. She says knowledge gained from reading is a lifelong benefit.

“Your core emphasis on success is all based on reading. If you can’t read, you can’t function in this world. You can’t maintain a job. It’s hard to even maintain relationships if you can’t read and communicate,” says Kiepe.

All three school officials agree that the “Read 20 Rockets” initiative will have a great impact on students.