Central Elementary kicks off Reading Olympics

By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | Feb 19, 2014
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Mrs. Bailey's class at Central Elementary School carry in team banners during the 2014 Reading Olympics kickoff.

Students at Central Elementary School will be reading for gold all this month after kicking off the 2014 Reading Olympics.

Students and faculty gathered in the gym on Feb. 7 for a pep rally to kick off the Reading Olympics competition, which will continue through March 3.

During the rally, each class of students carried in banners representing their class name, similar to the Olympic Games opening ceremony. To commence the event, Tuscola High School junior Sadie McClure attended and played the national anthem on her baritone.

All Central Elementary students will be keeping a reading log all month and tallying their reading minutes every week. At the end of the competition, the class in each grade with the most reading minutes will win a gold medal.

All classes were divided and will competing in three divisions: pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-graders in the first division, first and second grade in division two, and fourth and fifth graders competing in division three.

"I want you guys to get geared up for reading, and read more than you ever have, learn more and have fun," Kristi Blackburn, a special education teacher, told the students during the kickoff.

Cheerleaders from Waynesville Middle School also participated in the rally; the girls tumbled, danced and cheered on all the students by teaching them reading cheers.

Waynesville Middle School Principal Trevor Putnam was also in attendance to support the cheerleaders and to talk to the students about the importance of reading to prepare for middle school.

"For some of you, reading will be easy, and for some of you, reading will be hard," Putnam told the students. "But no matter what, reading is thing most important thing you will do."

At the end of the event, the class in each division with the most minutes of reading will earn a trip to the Olympic Café at the school to enjoy hot chocolate, doughnuts, and the chance to hear a special book read aloud.

As part of the Reading Olympics, parents and students are invited to CES on Feb. 18 to play bingo, learn about non-fiction text features, earn a free book, eat Chick-Fil-A, and shop at special hours of the winter book fair. The event will be held from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.

Later this month, the school will hold a nonfiction text features door decorating contest on Feb. 21. Each class will be decorating their classroom doors with an olympic sport theme to highlight nonfiction text features.

In addition, CES classes will be going to First United Methodist Church for pancake son Feb. 25 for a "breakfast for reading champions" event."

The students will also be participating in the "Caught You Reading" program all month long. Through the program, students who are reading on their own time will receive their name in a drop box to be eligible to receive a free book.

The Reading Olympics will conclude with a Parent Lunch & Learn on March 3. Parents are invited to visit the CES Media Center at lunch time to learn how to do book talks with their children. The event begins at 12:15 p.m. and ends at 12:45. Reservations need to be made by Feb. 28 if parents would like lunch from the cafeteria. Door prizes will also be drawn.

In addition to the awards, the closing ceremony on March 3 will also be a celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday, and CES students will also come to school dressed in their Dr. Seuss best.

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