St. Johnsbury School students returned from vacation to a two-week long celebration of reading and literacy. From March 7 to 9, the school celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by observing Read Across America.
As students returned from vacation on March 7, they were greeted by the Cat in the Hat (special educator Jenn Terrill). Older students joined their lower-grade buddies in reading. On March 8, author Sy Montgomery entertained and informed students of her adventures as a wildlife author. She showed pictures of gorillas, tigers and tarantulas as she told the students that teachers come in all forms, both human and animal-and that they need to observe and learn.
On Friday, 74 members of the community came in to read to students. Each classroom had a guest reader in the morning and again in the afternoon. St. Johnsbury Academy and Passumpsic Savings Bank sent several volunteer readers; other readers came from local law enforcement agencies, businesses, organizations and parents. Fifth- and sixth-grade students wore their pajamas and brought pillows, blankets and stuffed animals as they spent the entire day reading.
The National Education Association's Read Across America was created 14 years ago in an effort to encourage and promote adults reading to children on March 2 (Dr. Seuss' birthday).
The school also observed literacy week March 12-16. Pictures of staff's favorite children's books were on display just inside the Barker Avenue door and the books were on display in the lower library.
Literacy week events included Drop Everything and Read on Wednesday and Thursday. At a designated time during the day, staff and students stopped and read for 15 minutes. Students worked with their reading buddies to list all the items they can think of that are green. They then chose an item and wrote about it for 10 minutes. The complete writing will be bound and displayed in the library.
On Thursday, local author Beth Kanell worked on writing projects with a selected group of sixth-grade students, as well as all of the middle school students. The celebration ended on Friday with staff and students dressed as their favorite literary characters.