Published on March 4th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


School District Five students celebrate Read Across America Week

IRMO – Students in Lexington-Richland School District Five dressed in themed garb and teachers placed a special significance on reading during Read Across America Week.

“Read Across America Week is an opportunity to celebrate reading and honor great books,” said Dr. Robin Cox, School District Five’s Coordinator of English Language Arts. “As families engage in the activities during this week, it emphasizes reading as a joyful experience.”

Celebrating its 20th year, the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day is held every year on March 2, the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel. Leading up to the day, many schools now have a Seuss inspired spirit week along with other activities to promote literacy. The purpose is to motivate students to read more and learn to value reading in their education.

Leaphart Elementary Media Specialist Shelley Williams said the week is just one way they try to ignite a love of reading in their students.

Williams said, “If the students don’t put any value on reading, if we don’t show that value, then they aren’t going to put that value into the reading either. Once we can find what a child is interested in, what book really ignites that passion, then we are going to do everything we can to stoke that fire because if they don’t love reading now then they aren’t going to continue, they aren’t going to improve as a reader. We use Read Across America Week as one tool to get students excited about reading.”

All 12 elementary schools and both intermediate schools in School District Five participated in some form or fashion for Read Across America week. Some dressed in their best Seuss outfits, while other schools held a book character parade. Several schools even had community members and district officials come and read to classes. Ronnie Corn, Chapin Intermediate’s Media Specialist, said having adults come read to their students made a big impact.

“Reading is the foundation of everything. Having our community members come to read directly to our students is very valuable and we know our students secretly enjoyed it,” said Corn.

To round out the week, elementary school students were served Dr. Seuss’ famed “Green Eggs and Ham” by the district’s Student Nutrition staff. Todd Bedenbaugh, Director of Student Nutrition, said his goal is to promote healthy eating by making it fun.

“Our Student Nutrition staff tries to be involved in the education process of our students as much as we can and we try to bring fun meals to them each and every day,” said Bedenbaugh. “But in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday we decided to serve the students green eggs and ham. We know that when our students are hungry, they don’t learn so we try to make the meals fun so they are more likely to eat and even try new things.”

Students like Macy Radzyminski, a second grader at Ballentine Elementary, enjoyed the colorful lunch option and was surprised the eggs were really green. “The green eggs and ham were actually green, but they tasted like regular eggs. I really enjoyed them,” Radzyminski said.

While the district celebrates Read Across America week each year, Dr. Cox says the district places an emphasis on reading every single day. “In District Five, we are building life-long readers. Each and every day, our teachers are demonstrating to students that reading allows us to learn new information and experience the joy of a great book. Especially during this week, you see students listening intently as adults read aloud books that “tickle funny bones and touch hearts.”

Schools in the district that participated in Read Across America Week were Ballentine Elementary, Chapin Elementary, Dutch Fork Elementary, H. E. Corley Elementary, Harbison West Elementary, Irmo Elementary, Lake Murray Elementary, Leaphart Elementary, Nursery Road Elementary, Oak Pointe Elementary, River Springs Elementary, Seven Oaks Elementary, Chapin Intermediate and CrossRoads Intermediate.

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