PIQUA — Students at Washington Primary School got an early visit from Santa on Friday morning when he stopped by to read to students during the school’s Read-A-Thon.
Third graders participating in K-Kids helped put on the school’s first ever Read-A-Thon event, which featured different reading and holiday stations.
“It’s been a great day,” Libbey Leininger, third grade teacher and co-adviser for K-Kids, said. “The kids are having a ton of fun.”
K-Kids is a part of Kiwanis Club, and approximately 100 third-grade students participate in the group.
“We wanted to do a fundraiser,” Amanda Manson, also a third grade teacher and K-Kids co-adviser, said.
Their first idea was to donate to a tutoring group at the school, but that group dissolved due to lack of participation. The students’ next pick was to give to the Piqua Public Library’s summer reading program.
“So many of our students are a part of the summer reading club, and the summer reading club works with the schools over the summer, and the librarians do such a great job of just making it a magical experience for kids over the summer that when our first idea didn’t go through, the students felt very strongly that they wanted to help the librarians,” Manson said. “We raised over $1,300.”
They were able to raise the funds by asking students to bring in $5 to hear Santa read to them, $10 for the Santa reading and to make a cookie, or $15 to be entered for a drawing of a gift certificate for the spring book fair in addition to the first two perks.
Manson said that they originally thought they would raise between $300 and 500. “When we got over $1,300, it was really amazing,” she said.
From purchasing new books to “keeping the magic alive” for students reading over the summer, Manson said, “We know the librarians can do a lot with that money.”
The K-Kids also took charge of the Read-A-Thon with Leininger and Manson’s help, reminding other students to take part and helping organize the event.
“They made announcements over the loud speaker each morning. They did the One Call Now out to parents, so they really took on a leadership role, and that’s really what K-Kids is about — developing leaders in the community and having them show kindness and respect and really being role models for the other students in the school,” Manson said.
They hope to bring back the event next year with a new group of third-grade K-Kids leaders. Their hope is that students will also continue participating in the summer reading program to keep their reading levels from falling behind over summer break. Manson said that some kids can fall back two grade levels in reading over summer break.
“Reading over the summer really does affect how well the students can come back and perform the next year,” Manson said. “The librarians are great.”
Third grader Kira Parshall, a captain in K-Kids, was helping out at the station where Santa was reading to students. Parshall said it was going “pretty good” Friday morning and that she was having a fun time.
“We get to do fun things,” Parshall said about K-Kids. “We get to raise money for things. We’re raising money for the public library.”
Washington Primary Principal Tracy Trogdlon said that all of the kids at the school seemed to be enjoying the Read-A-Thon and that it was a fun event to have on the last school day before Christmas break.
“I think it’s great,” Trogdlon said. Trogdlon also commended Manson and Leininger for setting up the event and helping the K-Kids organize the Read-A-Thon.
“We’re very grateful for their hard work,” Trogdlon said.
Other activities included a number of guest readers from the community, including Mayor Kazy Hinds and Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison. Music teacher Pam George compiled Christmas carols and provided slides with lyrics for the SMART Board for a sing-along. There was also a book bingo, a book walk similar to a cake walk, and different decorating exercises.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336