Ferron Elementary has conquered their goal of reading 1 million pages. This ambitious undertaking began on Jan. 15 of this year. The challenge was issued to the students at Ferron Elementary and also extended to community members as well. The city mailed out information to all residents to let them know of this endeavor.
Principal of Ferron Elementary, Brian Dawes said, "When a student completed a book they would fill out a slip of paper containing their name, the title of the book and the number of pages read. These slips were compiled on paper that looked like book shelves. The students recently exceeded their goal in reading 1,023,160 pages. Weekly updates were recorded and this information was passed along to students and parents in the parent bulletin. The PTO helped keep track of the tally.
"This program really involved everyone. We had grandparents who read with preschoolers and the older children read with the younger children. The program did a lot to promote literacy in our community. A lot of great reading took place. Some weeks they would turn in 8,000 pages and some weeks it would jump to 40,000 when a class finished a book together. When we told the kids we were close to reaching our goal the pages would just pour in and really give a big boost.
"The reward for reaching our goal was a surprise trip to the STAR Theatre in Huntington for an exclusive showing of the movie, "The Polar Express." Most of the children had not seen the movie and many of them were visiting a movie theatre for the first time.The theatre owners were really nice and treated the children to a bag of popcorn. The children were in heaven.
"We had 130 students from 3 year olds to sixth graders. We debated on whether to take the preschoolers, but then we hit on the idea of having the sixth graders partner with the younger children in a big sister/big brother arrangement. This worked out great. The older kids sat with the younger ones and attended to their needs and they also helped them on and off the bus. We have three preschool classes with 10 children in each class. We also had a lot of help from parents and aides who volunteered to help supervise the children. The children were very well behaved.
"It was just a great experience and the best part was the movie Polar Express, based on the book, which couldn't have been more appropriate. We just couldn't be happier, it was a big treat for a big project. We are still doing Polar Express activities in school.
"Seeing parents read sends a message to children that reading is important, with this program I think we encouraged literacy all around," said Dawes.