GSB Lower School Students Celebrate the Joy of Reading!

Gill St. Bernard’s Lower School designated the last week before spring break as Read Across America Week, a celebration of everyone's favorite activity—reading!

Established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 to excite kids about reading, National Read Across America Day occurs on March 2 each year. The day of reading became so popular that Courtney Lailey, Lower and Middle School Library and Media Teacher, and Casey Santonacita, Lower School Learning Support Specialist, expanded it into five days of activities geared at getting our GSB Lower Schoolers excited about reading.

“We chose to honor Read Across America over the week before spring break because it gets children into the mindset of reading,” said Ms. Santonacita. “We send them home with books and hope that the enthusiasm to read carries throughout their time off.”

“We want our students to realize that reading is fun,” said Ms. Lailey. “It doesn’t have to be overly academic or have a specific outcome. You can read for enjoyment.”

The week of fun began with “Map Monday” and a display of books highlighting how people live in different areas across the United States. Students were encouraged to wear college t-shirts to get into the spirit of travel and to show “all the places they’d go.”

On “Team Tuesday,” students in older grades buddied up with younger students to read them a book of their choice. For “Animal Wednesday,” students were encouraged to dress up in animal prints and animal costumes in recognition of animal-themed books, and they were given animal pun bookmarks to color.

Thursday saw “Read” White and Blue attire in honor of GSB Founders’ Day, and a book display created entirely out of books donated by Gill families. Children also had the chance to sign a community poster with all the reasons they love Gill.

The "Silly Friday" finale included silly dress up hats and socks, a dance party, recognizing the winner of the “Battle of the Books” and Boggle challenges, and the resolution of the mystery reader challenge.

“Our hope is that these activities will expose students to new genres and new books, and they will expand their love of reading,” said Ms. Lailey. “Instead of only reading what they are given, we want students to discover something that really interests them.”

Nothing quite compares to curling up with a good book over a vacation. Enjoy your time off, students, and Happy Reading!

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