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Leonard encourages reading through ‘Summer Beach Ball Book Bash’

by Trevor Keiser

August 21, 2013

Third graders, Wyatt Ashley and Josiah Ashman talk comic books. Photo by T. Keiser.
Whether it was enjoying a Popsicle while reading a magazine, shopping for new books or listening to "The Story Lady," the Summer Beach Ball Book Bash at Leonard Elementary proved to be a success.

"What we wanted was to encourage our students to continue reading over the summer and to help them have access to books at their reading level," said Reading Support Teacher Staci Dennis. "That's why we met three times this summer once in June, July and August."

Dennis said each of the kids made goals as to how many books they would read over the summer. Some read 10 and other read as many as 50 books.

"We had a conference with each child and we kept track of their goals and talked to them about them and encouraged them," she said. "There will be a big celebration in the fall for all the boys and girls who were involved in the program."

Paraprofessional Melissa Musgrove said the Beach Ball Book Bash was also a good way to keep in touch with students throughout the summer and see how they're reading and to encourage them to keep reading.

"I think it helps them feel more of the Leonard community because they are coming back to the school and we're still here and still willing to help and work with them," Musgrove said. "It helps shows the kids that we care enough to keep them going through the summer."

Not only was it good for the students, but it was good for the teachers as well. Because this year has been such a success, Leonard plans to continue the Beach Ball Book Bash next summer as well.

"It's been wonderful meeting with the students each time and seeing their enthusiasm towards books," said First Grade Teacher Jessica Peyerk. "This Beach ball Book Bash has been a wonderful chance to put books in the hands of Leonard Elementary students throughout the long summer months to ensure that they're reading and enjoying books."