Seuss on the loose at NTESHow do you get 634 elementary school kids to be quiet all at the same time? Pull out some good books. It really works — just ask anyone at North Trail Elementary School, which held its second annual read-a-thon March 2. For 20 minutes, students, teachers, lunch ladies and even Dr. Steven Geis settled down with a good book and read.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
How do you get 634 elementary school kids to be quiet all at the same time? Pull out some good books.
It really works — just ask anyone at North Trail Elementary School, which held its second annual read-a-thon March 2. For 20 minutes, students, teachers, lunch ladies and even Dr. Steven Geis settled down with a good book and read.
That’s all. They just read. And a whole gymnasium was silent, but for the sound of turning pages.
The read-a-thon was scheduled on the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It was a day all about reading, from beginning to end.
Students were asked to go out and get sponsors for the event, explained parent Lindra Frame. Over the course of the day, kindergarteners were challenged to read for 60 minutes and kids in grades 1-5 were asked to read 120 minutes. The student who collected the most pledges – in this case it was kindergartner Logan Wegwerth –- was recognized for his efforts by being named as Principal for a Day.
The students collected more than $11,300, according to Frame. The top readers in each grade received a $10 gift certificate from Barnes and Noble.
Proceeds from the read-a-thon will be used for the school’s summer reading program, where media specialist Terese Jones opens the doors to the school’s media center for six weeks and lets students come in and check out books for summer reading. Part of the proceeds will also be used to help the school purchase iPads for student use.
Frame adapted the idea from something she’d heard from her nephew. His school held a read-a-thon, and she thought it sounded like a good idea. She brought the idea to the North Trail Parent Teacher Partnership, and to the school administration, and they all agreed.
“I just thought, ‘what a great way to get kids to read, and what a great way to get things for the school,’” Frame said.
Kindergarten teacher Kim Bollesen helped organize the event, which also included special visiting readers like school board members, the police and fire chiefs and even a few grandparents.
Before they got to listen to the visiting readers, students were treated to a Dr. Seuss story, “The Sneetches,” read by Geis. Then, he challenged kids to 15-20 minutes of silent reading, together.
“I think that’s the most amazing thing,” Frame said. “When it was silent reading, it was quiet. It was dead silent, and they all actually were reading. It wasn’t like they were pretending to read. They were all reading.”
Reading is one of the fundamental skills the staff and administration work on teaching kids every day. Geis is right in there with them on that.
“What’s your homework tonight?” he asked the kids before they left to go back to their classrooms.
“Read,” they replied in unison.
“That wasn’t loud enough,” he told them. “What’s your homework tonight?”