EATON — For a short period in time, students and teachers at Hollingsworth East Elementary turned their cafetorium into bedlam, the kids dancing and shouting as they watched their principal, Pam Friesel, challenge a few lucky students to a pedal-tractor race.
The event was a culmination to the school’s Right to Read Week, which held a farm theme and a motto of “Sprouting Awesome Readers.”
“The purpose for Right to Read Week is to encourage students to develop a love for reading and to come together as a classroom and school to share our joy of reading and have fun while becoming better readers,” said Friesel.
East was decorated with large farm themed decorations including a farmer, a barn, and several animals. Every student was challenged to read 10 books and turn in a written response for two of the books they read.
If a student met that challenge, they received a Right to Read Week lanyard. If a student read books above the expected challenge, they received a bottle cap clip for their lanyard for every 10 additional books read.
As a school, for every five written responses turned in by a class, they added a piece of corn to the corn stalk outside their classroom and for every 10 written responses completed by a class, they added a crow to the fence in the library hall for a school-wide tally.
In all, Friesel challenged the student population to get 75 crows on the fence – or 750 written responses. If they reached that goal, Friesel agreed to do a tractor race with a top reader from each grade level.
The students stepped up to the challenge and turned in over 1,000 written responses. While they did have a bit of an incentive to do these readings, Friesel hopes they also gained an appreciation for reading outside of classroom requirements.
“(I want them to learn that) reading is fun and to develop a joy and habit of reading outside of the school day,” she said. “And for families to develop a habit of reading with their child and encouraging their child to read. It was a way to have fun with learning to read during the school day.”
Throughout the week, the school held many reading-themed activities, such as a Family Reading Night and a PTO Scholastic Book Fair.
There were also dress-up days like “Bring a Stuffed Animal” Day (students read to them during school) and “Dress as your Favorite Book Character” Day.
The week was planned by a Right to Read Week Committee which is chaired by Debbie McKinney, the Literacy Coordinator.
It should also be noted — Friesel went 0-3 in her tractor races.
Reach Jeremy Erskine at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.