PIQUA — Over 500 students in grades K-3 celebrated books in festive fashion during the school-wide holiday read-a-thon on Friday at Washington Elementary.
This marked the second year Washington has held the event in tandem with its regular pre-winter break celebrations.
The read-a-thon has been conducted in the past as a fundraiser by the K-Kids Club of Kiwanis International to support the school’s library and its supplies. According to Assistant Principal Shannon Pence, the event was reprised this year purely for the fun promotion of reading itself.
“They love the books,” Pence said. “They love being engaged and having somebody read a story to them. Most of today’s activities allow kids to win a free book, so it’s about putting books in their hands that’s theirs to keep.”
Students rotated through stations throughout the school, including a musical chairs-style book walk in the gymnasium, Christmas bingo for books in the cafeteria, carol singing in the music room, cookie decorating in the art room, and book buddy pairings in the school’s two library areas.
“The book buddy partnering is something we didn’t do before,” Pence said. “We’re hearing a lot of very expressive reading. The kids are spending a lot more time choosing their own books in order to cater to their own interests.”
Santa Claus also made the rounds to each classroom to visit with kids during craft projects.
The event recruited 15-20 students from Piqua High School’s National Honor Society, Unity National Bank partners, and various parent volunteers to run various stations throughout the school.
“In everything we do this year, we’re trying to promote a love of literature,” Pence said. “You’re not going to get kids to read if they don’t like it. It’s not something that’ll carry over, and won’t be something they want to do. Increasing literacy is something fun that we can share with kids that they can share with others.”
For more information about Washington Elementary, visit www.piqua.org.