February ‘I Love to Read Month’ draws kids’ attention to reading
Whether it’s a graphic novel or “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” students are loving on ‘I Love to Read Month,’ which is this month and is being celebrated at area schools.
“It really does encourage and motivate those non-readers to read during the month,” said Kristin LaPlante, a fourth-grade teacher at Byron Intermediate School. “We see their confidence grow and their enjoyment in reading. We do it for a month to help students develop life-long reading habits. We also want to make sure they’re enjoying the books they’re reading.”
At Byron, among the special events planned for ‘I Love to Read Month’ are dress-up days, Workout Wednesdays to motivate movement, and Friday Fun which might include fort building. All of the special days have a camping theme, as the school principal has agreed to camp out at school if the students reach a half million minutes of reading by the end of the month.
Classes will get to go out to the campfire and read books and have hot chocolate. The school’s top readers will also have breakfast at the campsite in front of the school.
Byron students are participating to win prizes too, with tickets given for every 100 minutes they read outside of school and those tickets being turned in for a chance to win a prize. Prizes vary and include everything from a coupon for a slice of pizza, to a coupon for an ice cream cone, to tickets to the Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe, and an autographed football helmet signed by a popular Minnesota Vikings player.
“Everyone will get something,” LaPlante said. “These are the carrots to help entice kids to reach more minutes so they can go on to achieve even greater things.”
At Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School, educators are also hard at work celebrating ‘I Love to Read Month’ with its 800 students. There, media specialist Sara Darveaux said their event kicked off February 1 with a school-wide read in at the beginning of the day.
Here students are also compiling reading minutes to get a chance to win prizes, and the school principal will host a “surprise event” at the end of February if students complete their challenge.
Students at K-M can also participate in a tissue box decorating contest, decorating tissue boxes to represent their favorite books. There will be two winners per grade level.
The week of Feb. 20-24, the school is featuring a Multicultural Book Week, with students reading books from many cultures as a focal point. The principal also records a Tuck-in Tuesday bedtime story for each Tuesday in February for families to view with their children.
At the end of February, Minnesota author Stacy C. Bauer will visit K-4 classes to talk about her books and writing process. She has written the “Young Change Makers” series, the “Cami Kangaroo” series and the “Wyatt Too” series. Students will be able to ask her questions.
Photo: Submitted Photo Enjoying the I Love to Read Month kickoff, are third graders, left to right: Jaxson Jennings, Alijah Harden, Zachariah Jameson, and Rylee Ness, all from Mrs. Link’s class.