OGDEN -- Jaydee Davis loves a good adventure, whether reading one or living one.
The Wasatch Elementary School fourth-grader achieved his accelerated reading goal in part by reading "Ender's Game," a science-fiction adventure book set in a hostile outer space, and was rewarded a trip to Toad's Fun Zone, where he played laser tag Wednesday.
"What I like about reading is the suspense of wondering what will happen next," said Jaydee, of Ogden. "In 'Ender's Game,' they always wonder when they will get shot down, and it's the same thing in laser tag."
Jaydee and other Wasatch Elementary students were invited to spend the day at Toad's Fun Zone to play laser tag, miniature golf and arcade games.
The school used the free day offered by Toad's as an incentive for students to reach a million-minute accelerated-reading goal.
"We doubled the number of students reading, and we doubled the number of minutes," said Principal Suzanne Bolar.
Last term, 120 students participated and met their combined goal of 500,000 minutes. This term, 320 of the school's 400 students participated and met their combined reading goal of a million minutes.
"Having a nice incentive is a big asset," Bolar said.
Brad Feinman, general manager of Toad's Fun Zone, said the business has or will offer a free day to all Ogden schools.
Two already have scheduled for March. As the weather gets warmer, the business' go-kart track will be an added attraction for students.
"It's good for the schools, and it's good for us," Feinman said. "The students use the trip as incentive, and it lets the kids know what we have here."
Ogden Junior High sent its science club and turned laser tag into a lesson about lasers.
"Each school wants something different," Feinman said. "They have all used it as an incentive to support a program in their schools."
Bolar said improved reading skills help all areas of study.
"With reading comprehension up, students increase their vocabulary and their fluency," she said. "They are more successful learners in school, and reading is a skill they will use the rest of their lives in big and small ways."
Marisa Salazar, a literacy specialist at Heritage Elementary, said she has seen student self-esteem increase along with reading and language mastery.
"It builds their self-confidence, and achieving a goal helps them to keep pushing toward their next goals."
Brigham Burton, a 10-year-old fourth-grader, paused from an arcade game to share his opinion on the matter.
"I love Toad's, and I love reading," he said. "Both are awesome.
"But reading makes me feel really good. I love stories."