Community leaders pass reading bug to students
Posted: March 2, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Students at Frederick Douglass Elementary School had a chance to share their love for reading with a few “celebrities” from the community on Friday.
The event was the culmination of a weeklong celebration to promote reading through various spirit activities, including a pajamas day and a mismatched-sock day, in observance of Read Across America Week and Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which is today.
From 8 to 10 a.m. Friday, community leaders visited the school to read some of their favorite books to students.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community folks to share their love of literacy and for the children to see reading is fun for everybody, no matter what age you are,” said Principal Stephanie Downey.
The celebrity readers included Schools Superintendent Rick Leonard and other administrators, Mayor Elizabeth Minor, former Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley, School Board members, military representatives, former Frederick Douglass principal Nancy Lee, Shenandoah University football and baseball players, and representatives from Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt and Chick-fil-A.
Gretchen Homan and Ashley Sborz, the school’s reading specialists, organized the event, hoping to emphasize for the students that reading can be fun.
“When people from the community read, it seems more realistic to them,” Sborz said.
Homan said the event is one of the ways to reach children before it’s too late. “Studies show that if they’re not reading by third grade, they probably will not become a reader.”
School Board member Mary Margaret Wise read “Princess Pigtoria and The Pea” to a class of second-graders.
“It was really good,” student Emerson Ferguson said of the book.
Emma Westfall enjoyed the story and said she loves reading. “It’s really fun. It teaches you new things you probably never learned before.”
Emerson said he loves chapter books — intended for intermediate readers — and sometimes must tell people to be quiet while he is reading so he can concentrate.
“I don’t want to miss my parts,” he said.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at email@example.com