SOUTH WHITLEY — It’s not every day that a student gets to see their teacher read a favorite book to them while dressed as one of the characters. But, to celebrate Read Across America, South Whitley Elementary School students were in for a real treat as teachers did just that.
Each student signed up to hear a favorite book read to them, and the teachers dressed as characters from some of the most beloved children’s books.
Because the school celebrated Read Across America during the week coinciding with Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, the teachers also held a door decorating competition where the winner earned 30 minutes of extra prep time while the reading committee would supervise their students in their stead.
Teachers decorated their doors to look like “Horton Hears a Who,” “The Lorax,” “The Cat in the Hat” and many other well known titles by Seuss. The winning entry belonged to Angie Tranter of SWE’s first grade for her door entitled “Fox in Sox, 1st Grade Rocks!” which received the most votes through the SWE Facebook page.
Planning for the event was weeks in the making and the efforts were led by Caroline Crowe and her team. Crowe also instructs the SWE Title One Programming. “As a Reading Committee, we wanted to join the Read Across America celebration that goes along with Dr. Seuss’s birthday,” Crowe said. “We decided to celebrate a week later as an extra hooray for completing Part 1 of ISTEP for our upper grades.”
Unique to the event, grades were allowed to intermingle, as Crowe explained, “Our 273 students walked through a sea of book posters and were able to choose which book to sign up for. Each group had students from kindergarten up to 5th grade enjoying the book of choice, a tasty snack from our wonderful PTO, and a Dr. Seuss bookmark compliments of our library. We had 23 educators dress up along with their book to read to the groups of students. To get students excited, we challenged the staff to a door decorating contest filled with goodies for the winners. Our teaching staff winner was 1st grade teacher Angie Tranter. Our runner up was a tie between our speech teacher Ms. Menze and our librarian Mrs. Green.”
Some teachers read excerpts from longer chapter books, while shorter stories were read completely through with time for an activity afterword. Anne Leezer from the SWE’s technology department pulled double duty, dressing up with a “Wocket in her Pocket” and then later, changing her outfit into a fun cow costume as she read to students Dr. Seuss’ “Mr Brown Can Moo Can You?” Fourth grade teacher, Jane Trump read “Jumangi” and challenged the students listening to compare and contrast similarities and differences between the book and its two movies, one of which was release just this past winter.