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Dutch 'dollars' a hit at elementary school

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ORANGE CITY, Iowa - At the Orange City public elementary, students are running around with a wad of Dutch dollars in their pockets. The school awards students a dollar for each book they have read. Participation in the reading program has been excellent; at one time 850 of the 952 titles on the list were checked out.

Students can purchase lunch or pop with the dollars or participate in special activities. The class with the most Dutch dollars earned an ice cream party.

Students in the Dutch community - Orange City was founded in 1870 by Dutch migrants - certainly are motivated by rewards, reports principal Randy Mouw. The incentives inspire those who would otherwise not read.

A parents' group sponsors and administrates the program, pays for the prizes and buys extra books.

Iowans may not realize it but the word dollar finds its origin in the Dutch language in which one and a half florin was called a daalder.