Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh the Books You'll Read

Submitted photo

Student Savana Seeders reads "Are You My Mother" to Miss Chrissy's 
preschool class at the Freedom Valley YMCA in Pottstown.
Reading is bustin' out all over in the Pottstown schools these day.

Toward the end of last month, multiple Read Across America events were held in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday.

One that combined youngsters and high school students occurred through Pottstown High School's Child Development Class, who have been studying preschool development and developmentally appropriate learning activities, especially promoting literacy.

As part of their curriculum, class members Tyani Whitney, Joann Auman, Savanna Seeders, Yaideline Vega, Shakilra Alexander created "story-stretchers," activities that accompany books that were sharted with PreK Counts and preschool classes at the Freedom Valley YMCA as well as the 4K at Edgewood  Elementary School.

Joann Auman and Tyani Whitney read "10 Apples Up on Top" 

at the YMCA.
The high school's Career Technical Child Care program offers ready training for a Child Development Associate Credential so students leave ready to get their certification credential and be employed. 

In addition the  program partners with various child care programs in the Pottstown area, including the Freedom Valley YMCA Pottstown branch. 

Upon completing the program, students will have qualified for 9 college transfer credits to such places as Montgomery County Community College, Harcum, and Penn Colleges. 

"We are very grateful and excited to be able to partner with child care professionals in this community to prepare our students for careers in early childhood," Child Care Teacher Marilyn Bainbridge wrote in an e-mail to The Mercury (oops) I mean to the Digital Notebook.

Each Barth student received 10 free books thanks to the efforts of retired classroom assistant Diane Haws.

Barth's Bounty

Barth Elementary students received a big assist in having plenty of reading material.

Diane Haws, a recently retired Barth classroom assistant, has coordinated efforts to purchase thousands of books to give away to Barth students. Diane’s program has been in full gear for the past five years.

She enlists the aid of seven to ten people every year who go to yard sales, flea markets, and auctions to purchase gently used children’s books. Members of the parent/teacher organization then help to sort the books by topic and grade level.

Each year, more than 5,000 books are donated to students to be taken home and used for recreational reading.

This year, because of renovations to the Barth building, fifth grade students who were reassigned to Franklin Elementary School, also received their share of reading books.

The program was so successful this year that each student received a total of ten books.

 “We are so fortunate to have a caring, dedicated person committed to ensuring that our students receive the best possible education," said Barth Principal Ryan Oxenford. "Providing these books for home reading will help students learn to enjoy reading and be successful academically."

And of course, when it comes to Dr. Seuss day at Barth, it's hard to beat this video....

Some of the Rupert students 'caught' reading were, front, from let, Qaseem Bruner, Abigail Eagle, Tyler Broughton, Beckem Cole, Aimee White and rear, from left, 
Cole Bechtel, John Stilwell, Jake Eagle, Brice Cole

'Caught' Reading at Rupert

This year Rupert Elementary School kicked off its Read Across America Week celebration with a PJ & Dr. Seuss Movie Night. Students came to school in their pajamas on the evening of Friday, March .

Front, from left,  Richard Soos, Javon Scott, Gary Allen and
back, from left, Michael Husko, Felicity Gomez Kandy, Imani Brant.
Families enjoyed the Dr. Seuss movie "The Lorax" on the big screen and the PTO provided lemonade and popcorn, and also held a bake sale that raised $85 to benefit Operation Backpack.

Rupert’s reading focus for the week was “Get Caught Reading At Home.” Students were encouraged to read at home every night. Each night from March 4-8 Rupert Principal Matthew Moyer, called homes to check if students were reading. 

He spoke with students from Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade each evening. Students were asked questions about the book they were reading at home- Title, Author, Genre, Favorite Part, Etc. 

From left, Zelias Bray, Kira Nihart, Logan Nihart, Dominic
Tammaro and Aniyah Wells
Students who were “Caught” received a certificate; their name announced each morning; and a certificate for a FREE kids meal at Applebees. Each day the students also had their picture take and posted on Rupert’s Facebook Page congratulating them.

Moyer called more than 100 homes during the week, and caught over 40 students reading!

“Calling our children at home was a great experience for me, and also for the students," Moyer said. 

"Our students were excited each day, and hopeful they would get a call. It was fun to hear their excitement as they told me about the books they were reading. What a great way to encourage our children to continue to make reading a part of their lives at home every day,” Moyer said.

The Glove Has Been Thrown, The Slimy Glove

Last year, as some of you may recall from last year, Edgewood Principal Calista Boyer and Rupert Principal Matthew Moyer set the bar pretty high in terms of inspiring their students to read.

Remember THIS Mrs. Boyer? Yes, we thought you would.
Boyer kissed a pig and got covered in fudge and whipped cream and turned into an ice cream sundae, where as Moyer ended up sporting a purple Mohawk haircut.

While they may have been informally competing for the little-known which principal has the most chops award, this year, it's formal and it's series. The gloves are off, and thrown down.

As Moyer noted in his e-mail home to families there will be a "friendly competition" between the two schools in honor of Families and Reading Month.

Specifically, the challenge is which school can read the most pages AT HOME from April 1 to April 30.

The school that reads the most pages will get to "Slime!" their principal Nickelodeon-style.
Remember THIS Mr. Moyer. I'll bet you do.

All students who turn in a calendar will receive a prize, but let's face it, what prize could be better than watching your principal get covered in slime?

By what The Digital Notebook staff considers to be an unlikely coincidence, Moyer has also issued a call for volunteers for DROP, or Drop Everything and Read Day on April 17.

Volunteers are invited to COME TO CLASS and read to students. 

We trust those pages read in class will not wind up on Rupert's total for the contest versus Edgewood, right Mr. Moyer?

No doubt Mr. Moyer, whose competitive spirit has reared its Mohawked head from time to time, simply hopes that the event will help remind students and families that they need to be reading during the month of April!

"You can bring a favorite children's book or we can provide one for you," Moyer said. 

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