The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America 2019 festivities kicked off with a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday at schools nationwide. Riverbank Unified School District is no different, with an array of activities all month long to motivate the youth to celebrate reading for all ages.
The NEA created a small reading task force in May 1997 to get the nation’s youth excited about reading, designating Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2 for the celebration across the country. According to the NEA’s website, “motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.”
Since Dr. Seuss’s birthday was on Saturday, March 2, California Avenue Elementary celebrated on Friday, March 1 with a variety of literacy activities. The students experienced fun during the celebration with face painting, Dr. Seuss hat craft, creating bookmarks, visiting a reading corner, and enjoying a feature presentation of the original Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat movie. Prior to that they had an assembly to get students excited about Read Across Riverbank on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Students at California Avenue have collaborated with the Modesto Nuts to encourage reading with the Modesto Nuts Reading Program. With a visit from the Nuts mascot, Al the Almond at their assembly the reading excitement was stirred up. This program is sponsored by Parks Printing, Mocse Credit Union, and the Modesto Nuts. The program will allow students to improve their reading skills and earn rewards as well as a complimentary ticket to a Modesto Nuts baseball game on Sunday, May 26. Kids will receive a complimentary hot dog, soft drink and participate in an on-field parade before the game starts. The reading program began on Monday, March 4 and will continue through March 29. The four-week program will include a reading goal each week. If the goal is completed the student will receive a reward of a ‘base’ until they make it all the way around the baseball diamond for a home run.
The After School Program (ASP) will have a weekly drawing selecting one student per grade that will win a drawstring backpack filled with items including a book.
There will be a bookmark contest and ASP Advisor Bianca Lopez expressed that she will decorate the campus with wacky word posters like quotes of encouragement from famous baseball players, silly homophones, homonyms, homographs, and sentences with most commonly misspelled words, and word jokes.
The guest reader week will begin on Monday, March 18.
The school recently held a Book Fair from Feb. 25 through March 1 where they reached their goal of $5,000. The theme for the fair was Books are Dino-Mite. The teachers, paraprofessionals and students dressed up as an archeologist or in ‘dino’ gear that wrapped the last day of the book fair.
“The book fair was a great way to get students to purchase new books to have for the month of reading,” said Lopez. “Teachers and other staff will be performing a dance for the kids soon (to celebrate reaching their goal).”
Each school site is scheduled to have a variety of activities encouraging literacy during the month.