It was a day devoted entirely to reading
by Rick Nichols
Oskaloosa USD 341 and other school districts throughout the United States observed Dr. Seuss’s birthday March 2 by participating in Read Across America.
Through three morning reading sessions, an afternoon Read-A-Thon and the presence of “hands-on library stations,” another afternoon activity, the value of reading as both a leisurely diversion and a critical skill closely tied to a student’s future success was made evident to children attending Oskaloosa Elementary School.
For the 30-minute reading sessions, OES pupils were divided into six groups, each made up of three classes. More important, they got to hear three different individuals read to them.
The six readers for the first session were Lynn and Carol Sheppard, Terra Kabus, Bonnie Butner, William Cormode, the district’s Technology director, and Brent Mumford, Oskaloosa Junior-Senior High School principal.
During the second session, Kabus, Butner, Lynn Sheppard, Sue Midyett, the coordinator of the district’s Kansas Reading Roadmap program, Angie Forshee and Jon Pfau, superintendent of schools, read.
The readers for the third session were Kabus, Lynn Sheppard, Jennifer Courtney, computer aide Darla Heard, Pat Foster, OES principal, and Jefferson County Attorney Jason Belveal. Belveal selected “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame to read to the boys and girls before him, pupils of Courtney Weis, Randi Lane and Andrew Meyer, and appeared to generally have their undivided attention. He later told the paper that the short story was one of the author’s favorites.
The Student Leadership Team (i.e., Student Council) organized the Read-A-Thon, which took place in the Multipurpose Room. The event went on for an hour and a half and was complemented by other activities.
Library aide Kayla Hofstra was in charge of the “hands-on library stations.”
To help drive home the message that reading is imporant, pictures of various district employees identifying them as being regular readers were posted here and there in the hallways for the children to see.
The celebration of reading Read Across America represents began with a pep rally in the high school gymnasium. A highlight of the event was Pfau’s just-for-fun “announcement” that he had decided to become a presidential candidate, this being an election year, which elicited laughter and chuckles from the student body.
Born in 1904, Dr. Suess (Theodor Seuss Geisel) wrote numerous children’s books during his life and was greatly admired by many because of them.
Read Across America is sponsored by the National Education Association.
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