Central Elementary gets excited for reading

Dozens of students could be heard from the end of the parking lot. They were cheering, yelling, laughing. Everyone in the school was excited. It was not a basketball game, or a talent show. This was an entire school excited about reading.

Central Elementary put on a day’s worth of fun and games as a kick-off event for the school’s “Celebration of Reading” program.

“It is a celebration of reading and being back at Central,” ELA teacher Dawn Taylor said.

She said reading is important for people of all ages, but this is especially true for elementary school children such as in Central.

“It is important to read in all areas,” she said. “We want the students to develop a love of reading.”

They do this, she said, in a variety of ways, including Accelerated Reading tests, Drop Everything and Read events and other yearly incentives for reading more.

She said students get so invested in these events that they regularly ask her when the next one is, or remind her they wanted to take an AR test that day.

This kick-off event is one such incentive. Students got to hang out with a local fireman and see what his fire truck does, play in bouncy houses and slides, learn how banjos and fiddles work with “Fiddlin’ Leona and J.P.,” face painting at the library and much more.

The whole time, students were laughing, cheering and were invested in what was going on.

“It is just fantastic,” Taylor said. “Children are seeing adults being good role models.”

She said last year, the school collectively read roughly 11,083 books. This number comes from as many different genres and styles of book as possible.

“We know reading more means you will likely score higher,” Taylor said.

In addition to academic success, she said books can serve as a comfort when a child may be stressed. In addition, she said the changing workforce is now looking for applicants who read and write more often.

Beyond all the future incentives of reading, however, Taylor said the students just love the fun that comes with reading, especially when they can do it with their classmates and teachers at the school.

“This is your family, too,” she said. “We are here for reading, learning and you.”

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