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FES kicks off its annual Read-a-Thon with a flash mob dance

Farmington Elementary School teachers put on a little flash mob for students Monday afternoon to kick off the school's annual Read-a-Thon.

Farmington Elementary School principal Ben Januschka is a pretty good actor. It turns out, he's also a pretty good dancer.

In fact, all the teachers at FES seem to be pretty good dancers. Just ask any of the students.

Farmington Elementary School kicked off its annual Read-a-Thon with a short assembly Monday. Januschka greeted the students, then started reading from a list of reasons why students should participate in the Read-a-Thon. He used a quiet, monotone, kind of mopey voice until student advocate Jen Venz whispered in his ear.

"What?" he asked. "This is boring?"

And that's when the flash mob broke out. Teachers joined Januschka in front of the students and all of them danced to the Nicki Minaj song Starships.

A PowerPoint presentation of FES kids reading flashed behind the dancers. Kids sang along. And within 10 minutes, it was all over.

It was short, sweet, and fun. What's more, it did what it was supposed to do.

"We want to get the kids to be excited to participate," Venz said. "We're trying to raise a ton of money for this."

The Read-a-thon is a two-week fundraiser at FES. Kids will ask for pledges. Some people choose to sponsor a student for however many minutes he or she reads. Others choose to make a one-time donation. Either way works, Venz said.

When the two weeks is up, students will turn in the number of minutes they read. On Nov. 30, the school will hold another assembly, this time to recognize the students who have read the most minutes. The boy and girl from each grade who read the most will get to participate in a Minute to Win It-style competition, but those who read the most will also get the opportunity to try to dunk one of six FES staff in a dunk tank.

The money raised through the Read-a-Thon will be used to assist the FES Parent-Teacher Partnership in purchasing new reading materials for the school.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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