School celebrates reading goal success


January 13, 2000|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE CHILDREN of Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School have been preparing for the new year by reading. In a project called Read 2000, 639 pupils -- in kindergarten through fifth grade -- read 1,417,230 pages, an average of more than 2,000 pages per child.

On Friday, the school celebrated.

The reading program began in September. Its goal: that each child in the school read 2,000 pages by Dec. 31. Younger children could be read to.

The children recorded their page counts on monthly calendars, and parent volunteers calculated the totals. At Friday's assembly, the big number was revealed.

Then the staff staged a game show called, "Who Wants to be a Readingaire?" with the team leader of each grade competing.

The game was modeled after the popular television show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Reading specialist Fran Clay and media specialist Dawne Royo shared the role of Regis Philbin, the host of `Millionaire." The set was created by art teachers Debbie Bourke and Dan Sanz. Music was provided by music teacher Eileen Clark.

Dressed in formal evening wear, the teachers demonstrated their knowledge of children's literature -- sometimes with a little help from their pupils. As on the television show, they could poll the audience or use pupils as "lifelines."

When first-grade teacher Sharon Lewandowski was asked what the Little Engine That Could said on his journey uphill, she called on Zack Brightbill, who gave the right answer, "I think I can."

The school's show was different in spirit from its television model: The teachers were not competing against each other. They were cooperating to earn as many points as possible toward a group total of 2,000 -- and they reached their goal.

The prize was a new book for each child in the school.

"The kids were mesmerized by the show," Clay said later, adding that the staff was thrilled with the way it worked out.

The game show was the highlight of the day for first-grader Jason Rohner, who said he liked seeing the teachers perform.

"It was funny," said fourth-grader Alexa Quackenbush, "and it was fun to see who the teachers would call on when they needed help."

Afterward, the kids crowded into the media center and looked over books purchased by the PTA to make their choices.

For fourth-grader Ashley Dolgoff, choosing her book was the best part of the day. She selected "School Spirit."

The day's activities included a 2,000-second "teacher switch," where teachers changed classrooms and read to students for 33 minutes.

Children in each grade presented skits on what reading means to them, and cookie parties -- with giant cookies iced with the message, "Celebrate Reading" -- were held at the end of the day.

The day also included a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog -- a character created by author and illustrator Norman Bridwell. Clifford visited each classroom and posed for pictures with the children.

Clay said she was pleased with the day, and with the overall success of the Read 2000 program.

"I think it made reading a family event," she said, noting the enthusiasm of pupils and parents.

Reflections winners

Several schools have announced the winners of PTA Reflections programs.

In the annual program, pupils' artistic creations are judged at their schools, and winners move to county-level competitions in the categories of visual art, literature, photography and music.

This year's theme is "Anything is Possible "

Manor Woods Elementary School winners in visual arts were Katherine Boyarsky, Nicholas Marinelli, Laura Chilcoat, Kendall King, Jake Carlyle, Adrienne Chistolini, Chris Fischer, Tyler Kerr, Nandini Singh, Linden Lee, Christyna McCormick,Morgan Nixon, Steven Park and Erik Van Elberg.

Kelly Scruggs, Katie McFarlane, Drew Weymer and Kevin Eikenberg won for literature.

In photography, the winners were Nathan Lee-Deison, MaryKate Morani and Megan Wark.

Molly Morse, Colin Morse and MaryKate Morani won in the music category.

At Triadelphia Ridge Elementary, winners in visual arts were Christopher Leon, Paul Wissman, Kristin Long, Shane Kellaher, Alison Jacques, Edward Yu, Michael Leon and Dana Gittings.

Alison Jacques was the winner in photography.

Literature winners were Nina DeCesare, David Mikulis, Kathryn Gaasch and Katerina Wright.

Brittney Lilly was the winner in music.

Lisbon Elementary will be represented in visual arts by Patrick Dumler, Caitlin Grant, Megan McComas, Trevor Raskin, Emily Maserski, Carolyn McComas, Eric McNemar and Ann Savage.

Photography winners were Shea Nixon, Zac Rentz, Courtney Knill, Larkin Nixon and Ann Savage.

In literature, the winners were Megan McComas, Natalie Long and Samantha Snoots.

Natalie Long won in music.

County-level winners will be announced Jan. 27 at River Hill High School.

Selling subs and fruit

River Hill High School music students are selling cold-cut and turkey subs to raise money for their spring trip to a music contest at Myrtle Beach.

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