SCHOOL BEAT — May 3, 2012

Reading is a Treat

by CINDY KITZROW
Principal, Cannonsburg Elementary School
Director of Library and Media Services Rockford Public Schools

March is designated as National Reading Month. Each year the library services staff of Rockford Public Schools offers a fantastic reading program to encourage reading with our PreK through eighth-grade students. This year, for our 15th annual reading celebration, we were pleased to announce our theme was “Reading is a Treat.”

During the month, we invite students and parents to become involved in reading thousands of hours or a million pages. The students keep track of the time they read (or parents read to them). As the students read their allotted amount of time, they bring the reading slips to their library staff. The staff then records the hours and promotes the times throughout the building.

Each library had a number of exciting events going on throughout the month in all of our buildings. We have several quest readers from the community to share their love of reading with our students. Dr. Michael Shibler, our superintendent, as well as Peter MacGregor, our state representative, read their favorite books to a number of students.

Each building principal adds their encouragement for reading with many different reading incentives. For one building the class that read the most had an ice cream sundae party. One of the  principals and cooks dressed up as Fiona and Shrek when the students met their reading goal. The students loved spending the morning with them. Another principal became an ice cream sundae. The students draped him with all their favorite toppings. Each building met and surpassed their building goal. Lakes Elementary set a huge challenge for their students to read one million pages. They read over a million pages—what an AWESOME accomplishment.

On March 2, our buildings celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss. As part of the national program “Read Across America,” we joined the nation’s biggest reading party ever. We gave parties and read our favorite Seuss books. The movie the “Lorax” came out on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Thanks to Cannonsburg’s PTC we were able to take the whole school to a special viewing of the movie. It was an exciting event for all of our students.

We have much to celebrate when we encourage reading to our students and the Rockford community. As the former First Lady, Laura Bush, gave the “call to all Americans—parents, educators, business leaders and policymakers—to focus on the importance of reading and literacy. Your efforts will help ensure that all children can learn to love books and make reading a lifetime passion.” We in the Rockford Public Schools Library Services Department encourage your children to love books and know that “Reading is a Treat!”

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