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District Five elementary schools celebrate Read Across America Week

IRMO, SC - Elementary schools throughout Lexington-Richland School District Five paid tribute to the legendary Dr. Seuss with Read Across America celebrations during the first week of March. Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading, focusing coast-to-coast attention on the importance and the joys of reading.

Ballentine Elementary School held a “Book Tasting” in the school’s media center. Students sat at a table with four different books and had one minute to skim through to see if they would be interested in reading that particular book. The students then wrote in their “menus” what the book was about and if they would like to read more. At the end of the tasting, students were allowed to check out their favorite. “The students loved this idea of book tasting,” said Ballentine Elementary Media Specialist Wendy Price. “Anyway we can incorporate fun and exciting ways to get our students to read is a success. We love seeing them so excited to read!”

Harbison West Elementary School celebrated Read Across America Week with special events each day. Media Specialist Lucy Ballew said, “Read Across America Week is a time for our entire school to celebrate books, reading, and Dr. Seuss’ birthday! We get really excited about it!” Events included Pop Up and Ready Day where students enjoyed popcorn and special reading time. Buddy Class Reading Day featured teachers from other classes visiting to read. As part of Black History Month in February, students read about the contributions of famous African-Americans and attended a Black History Month program.

At H.E. Corley Elementary School, Mrs. Chaka Coffey’s second grade class was paid a special visit from principal Dr. Judy Franchini, who read Dr. Seuss’s Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! Dr. Franchini described the importance of her role as a principal coming in to read with students. “Reading is one of my passions, and the teaching of reading really makes a difference with our students,” Franchini said. “Not only does the teacher need to be a good role model, but the principal and administrative team need to be as well. I think it is important that I show them I am a reader as well!”

Students at Lake Murray Elementary School took part in Read Across America Week by “Rocking and Reading.” Rocking chairs were set up in the main corridors of the school and students had free reading time to read anything they wanted. The Rock and Read theme was started with the reading initiative through the NEA. It began as a way to motivate students to read for pleasure. Third grade teacher Ms. Kim Taylor said, “This allows them to see that I value their time where it’s their choice. They get a choice, they can read whatever they want to read and I’m not going to ask them questions afterward. They don’t have comprehension to fill out. It’s just really fostering a true love of reading.”

Other schools in District Five who participated in Read Across America Week were Chapin Elementary, Dutch Fork Elementary, Irmo Elementary, Leaphart Elementary, Nursery Road Elementary, Oak Pointe Elementary, River Springs Elementary and Seven Oaks Elementary. To see photo albums related to Read Across America Week in District Five, please visit our Facebook page at

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Call Paul Kirby

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