Roseville’s schools get March is Reading Month underway

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 12, 2014

 Staff at the Huron Park Elementary School kicked off March is Reading Month Feb. 26 with a “Wizard of Oz” assembly. Various staff members dressed up as characters from the book. From left is Principal Dan Schultz, teachers Jeanne Williams, Mikalle Onyski, Sara Bricolas, Kayla Schultz, Nichole Woods and Angela Castiglione.

Staff at the Huron Park Elementary School kicked off March is Reading Month Feb. 26 with a “Wizard of Oz” assembly. Various staff members dressed up as characters from the book. From left is Principal Dan Schultz, teachers Jeanne Williams, Mikalle Onyski, Sara Bricolas, Kayla Schultz, Nichole Woods and Angela Castiglione.

Photo courtesy of Huron Park Elementary School

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ROSEVILLE — The seven elementary schools in the Roseville school district have gotten their March is Reading Month plans underway, with each school doing different things.

Practically every school building is planning to have guest readers from the community come in — politicians, school board members, other dignitaries and interested parents — to read to children in their classrooms. The similarities end there, however.

At Dort Elementary, the building has a “Wild About Books” jungle-animal theme, Principal Charles Felker said.

“We had an assembly (Feb. 27), and one of the staff members’ husbands dressed like a gorilla and got involved in the mix,” Felker said. “It was kind of fun, just doing things to get parents involved in the reading process.”

Students worked on decorations throughout the building, and the Parent Teacher Organization purchased books for the students, he said. Students who complete four activities related to their books will get an invitation to a special assembly at the end of the month.

Additionally, the classroom with the highest degree of student participation for those activities gets a special treat, Felker said. He said teachers have been getting quite involved in prompting kids to read more, and the school has been sending information to parents to get them working together, too.

Shannon Tocco, reading specialist at Huron Park Elementary, said the school year, as a whole, has had a “Wizard of Oz” theme that has been carried over to March is Reading Month. Each grade level has reading goals, and each student has a “yellow brick” with their name on it spread around the building.

Tocco said when each student reaches a reading goal, they put a marker on their brick, and if they get five markers, they can come to the special celebration at the end of the month.

“The first through third grade, their goal is to read a book a day, and they usually have to read five books a week,” Tocco said.

There are goals for kindergartners, such as having a book read to them, and for the third through sixth grades.

“Third through sixth grade is 100 minutes of reading a week. For every book, the young kids get a stamp. And the third through sixth, they get a stamp for every 20 minutes.”

There are also spirit days planned, with different themes for clothing, and Tocco said the school plans on having author trivia days. Kids will watch a video about an author and then answer questions. If the kids get the answers correct, they get their names put on the board and get to read a book from that author.

According to Kaiser Elementary Principal Laurie Kinch, the school has a movie theme, “Lights, Camera, Action!” She said the school kicked off its theme Feb. 28 with a musical performance by the teachers encouraging kids to read.

“We’re setting our goal to have kids read 120,000 minutes this month,” she said. “That’s 480 minutes a student.”

To help encourage students to read more, Kinch said local businesses have donated prizes and gift certificates for books and movies, and the PTO is sponsoring snacks for students who meet their goals.

Kinch said a “red carpet celebration” is planned for the kids who reach their goals, with added incentives for kids who reach their own reading goals each individual week and those kids who do optional book reports. Kids also got to decorate “Walk of Fame” stars placed throughout the school.

Kment Elementary does not have special plans for the month, according to Principal Shawn Wightman. The school has 15-minute “readathons” in the language arts classes, as well as guest readers, but otherwise no themes or assemblies.

Steenland Elementary has also foregone a theme and major assemblies for the month, according to Technology Paraprofessional Kathy Giese. Instead, students have a competition with staff members using an online accelerated reader program.

By reading books and completing the accelerated reader quizzes, students will earn points that can be redeemed for tickets. At the reward ceremony in April, Giese said tickets will be randomly drawn, and the winning students can reach into a barrel and pull out an assortment of money.

Individual classes also will feature book reports and other reading programs, Giese said. Between the points and teachers reading, too, she thinks it will help spark more students to read.

“Reading is more important than the points, but to encourage them to read, we’re enticing them with the points,” she said.

Fountain Elementary and Patton Elementary were unable to provide information on their plans by press time.

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