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Readathon raises $10,000 at North Trail Elementary School

North Trail Elementary School students propped themselves up on books as they read during last week's read-a-thon. The event raised more than $10,000, which will help keep the school's library open over the summer.

North Trail Elementary School students raised more than $10,000 just by opening a book last week. Well, actually, they opened about 600 books, but you get the picture.

There was lots going on March 1 at North Trail. It was Dr. Seuss's birthday, and there was cause to celebrate.

It's hard to say where the most celebrating came in. Friday was Hat Day, and it was Pajama Day for some of the younger students. Plus, the kids raised $10,101 by taking pledges for the school's third annual readathon.

The event kicked off with an all-school assembly in the gymnasium. A dozen or so teachers got the students in the mood to read by acting out the book, "What Do Teachers Do (After You Leave School)?" by Anne Bowen.

Afterward, principal Dr. Steven Geis announced the names of the two students in the school who had gotten the most pledges for the read-a-thon, brothers Logan and Luke Wegworth. As their reward, the boys will each get a turn at being principal for a day.

And then, they read. And read. And read.

North Trail boasts a student population of approximately 600 kids, and for 20 minutes, not a sound was heard but for the occasional turning of a page while all of those students read quietly. Some brought extra books to lay on, while others brought in their new iPads or ebook readers.

Students took pledges in the 10 days leading up to the readathon, said organizer and Parent Teacher Partnership member Linda Frame. The funds raised through the event will help pay to keep the school's library open over the summer, and to purchase research, autobiography and nonfiction books for students to use next year.

"The kids love it, and it's not a hard fundraiser to do. I like it because 100 percent of the profit goes back to our kids and our school," Frame said.

In the past, funds raised through the annual readathon have gone to purchase iPads for student use, Geis said. Now that School District 192 has issued iPads to students districtwide, he's happy to see the PTP still finding ways to use the money to help improve literacy in the school.

"It shows a real commitment to the backing and support of North Trail," Geis said. "We want parents to help us instill the love of reading in our students. It's the foundation of all learning."

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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