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KCS celebrates reading throughout week’s activities


KENT – Students at Kent Center School are getting opportunities this week to renew their interest in reading through a series of activities and celebrations.

Student Council members Elizabeth Austin, as Little Red Riding Hood on left, with Alyssa Kovacs, as Cat in the Hat, hand out stickers Tuesday to Kent Center School students as they enter the cafeteria dressed in their favorite book characters in celebration of Read Across America week. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

Read Across America is being observed at KCS with much fanfare and fun activities. Librarian Elizabeth “Betsy” Morrow, who helps organize the week with Principal Michelle Mott and teacher Ane Starr, said Tuesday morning that their goal is to engage the students with reading.

“We want to promote a love of reading in our 21st-century world, when it might not be at the top of their minds,” Morrow said, referencing all the distractions from technology today.

On March 5 children arrived at school dressed as their favorite book character. There were a wide range of costumes worn–with wizards from the Harry Potter series, several Cat in the Hats and many sparkling princesses. Members of the school’s Student Council handed stickers to each student as he or she entered the pre-kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school.

“Today’s activity is to show reading can be fun,” Morrow said of the costumes. She was sporting an orange-red wig with corkscrew curls and explained she was Clementine, a character from a chapter book series written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Marla Frazee.

Student Council publicity director Allie McCarron and Beatrice Gifford, who is the co-president, were in the front foyer of the school greeting students and sharing stickers with all.

Student Council co-president Beatrice Gifford hands stickers to students as they enter Kent Center School Tuesday dressed as their favorite book characters in celebration of Read Across America week. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

“We give them to everyone so they can feel included, even if they didn’t wear costumes,” McCarron said.

Elizabeth Austin, who is the treasurer for Student Council, said the group is happy to participate in the week.

“It is important to recognize literature,” she said. “It is nice to have a week designated to reading. It is also nice to encourage getting off screens and reading.”

Every morning this week a staff member serves as the “mystery reader” reading a passage from a book during announcements. Tuesday’s female reader used an English accent to disguise her voice as she read from “Trashy Town.” Each homeroom votes on who they think the reader is each day.

Older students are being matched up with younger classes on March 7 for one-on-one reading. Every middle school homeroom is being matched with a lower grade room for buddy reading, Morrow explained.

The theme of this month’s Read Across America offered by the National Education Association is “diversity.” Classroom teachers made book selections from piles of books offered in the library, selected by Morrow. They brought them back to the classrooms and students will read those books in a buddy program.

On the morning of March 8, readers from the community have been invited to the school and they will be reading to the pre-K through sixth grade homerooms.

Lynn Worthington
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