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Read Across America

Dress up, music encourages students to celebrate books

Ft. Campbell Courier
Ft. Campbell | March 8, 2018

Barkley Elementary School Students break out dancing during a performance of the 101st Airborne Division Big 5 Rock Band Friday afternoon during the Read Across America celebration. Jerri Huber, gifted teacher and reading program coordinator, invited the band to celebrate Music in Schools Month as well.
Barkley Elementary School Students break out dancing during a performance of the 101st Airborne Division Big 5 Rock Band Friday afternoon during the Read Across America celebration. Jerri Huber, gifted teacher and reading program coordinator, invited the band to celebrate Music in Schools Month as well. | Photo: Heather Huber

At Barkley Elementary School, students dressed as their favorite book characters and spent the day being read to, eating cupcakes and dancing to the 101st Airborne Division’s Big 5 Rock Band.

“March is Music in the Schools Month, so we asked the band to come join us to just make it a huge celebration,” said Jerri Huber, Barkley Elementary gifted teacher and reading program coordinator.

Huber said the teachers at Barkley try to encourage reading by making it as fun as possible for the students.

“We think reading is a good indicator of all future success,” she said. “We’re going into this technology age, but if you can’t read you can’t do anything with that either.”

Barkley Principal Ted Turnipseed said reading is the key to every other curriculum.

“For a kid to improve in math, that’s impacted by reading,” Turnipseed said. “Social studies, science, all of that. We want kids to want to go out and look for information and pleasure, not just take what the media’s feeding us.”

Celebrating Read Across America Day shows solidarity among teachers, parents and commanders on post that reading is important, Turnipseed said.

“Also, we want them to know there’s joy in reading,” he said. “It’s like going through learning to drive before you drive. Learning to read, becoming a fluent reader is not always easy, but it’s worth it in the end.”

Turnipseed believes celebrations motivate students to whom reading does not come easily.

Turnipseed took time to read “Creepy Pair of Underwear!” by Aaron Reynolds.

“The kids are why I come to work every day,” he said. “If I could [read to them] all day, it’d be awesome.”

McKynzie Coward and Tyler Thomas, first graders, came to school and found their classes had been taken over by Ms. Frizzle and Viola Swamp.

“We’ve been discovering dinosaur bones and reading about them,” Tyler said. “And we’ve been discovering new books.”

Tyler said Desma Blount, Barkley vice principal, and her sister Paulette Robinson each read a book to the class while they were visiting the library. Robinson read “David Gets in Trouble,” by David Shannon.

“It’s a really short book, but my favorite page is the one where he goes to school with no pants,” McKynzie said.

McKynzie’s favorite part about reading is the pictures in the books.

“I also like the words and how you can challenge yourself to read,” she said.

Tyler said learning new words is the best part of reading for him.

“If you learn, you can read. If you can read, you can learn,” Tyler said. “If you read, you can always get smarter.”


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