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College And Literacy Festivities Abound At Mesa Verde
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Mrs. Lupe Duartes fourth grade class was one of the door decorating contest winners this past week at Mesa Verde Elementary featuring the University of Texas Longhorns for College Awareness week News Photos By Virginia Still

The Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) promotes College Awareness within area schools to promote planning and preparation for students and their parents. Case in point, Riverbank High School hosted College Awareness Night recently, which in turn prompted Mesa Verde Elementary to participate in the “Decorate Your Door with a College Logo” competition.

“I just love this door decorating contest,” stated Mesa Verde Principal, Laurie Sacknitz. “The kids are so cute.

“We need to talk about this (college), it is important.”

Seeing the college decorated doors in the hallways led the students to engage in discussions surrounding the college topic. Several teachers that participated in the contest decorated their doors with the college they attended, which students found to be very interesting, according to Sacknitz.

The Parent Teacher Club (PTC) was also very supportive of the door contest, she added.

To show their support the PTC offered 100 scholastic dollars to the top three door contest winners to spend on their students.

“It really is quite a generous gift which could be awards, stickers, pencils, books, and many other items,” explained Sacknitz. “This really is a fun month because we celebrate education.”

The PTC executive board consisting of Liz Nisperos, PTC President; Yolanda Sanchez, VP; and Mary Bento, Treasurer spent two hours determining the top three door winners.

Since the doors were so creative the PTC will be discussing giving all the other participants a prize for their door creations at their next meeting.

After a few hours of careful deliberation the PTC selected the top three doors which had to meet specific criteria and the winners were third grade class, Ms. Vanessa Martinez; fourth graders with Mrs. Lupe Duarte; and the fifth grade class led by Mrs. Olivia Fernandez.

“We plan to make this an annual event to continue with a discussion at these early ages, that learning to read, learning to write and literacy is so important,” said Sacknitz. “It (college) will help the students with their careers.”

Monday, March 2 launched Read Across Riverbank with a celebration across Riverbank Unified School District hosted by the After School Program in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Students were asked to show their support of literacy by wearing crazy hats, red and white, foxiest socks, sport your clothes inside out or dress up as your favorite Dr. Seuss character.

Target employees visited California Avenue Elementary on March 2 and read Dr. Seuss books to students in several different classrooms.

The students of each grade will have the opportunity to participate in a “books in a jar challenge.” The students will compete with each other to see who can read the most books within the March 2 to March 27 time frame. Each time a student reads a book they will fill out a slip and deposit it into the grade appropriate jars located in the library and then they will be counted at the end of the month. On Monday, March 30 the winners will be notified and will receive an ice cream treat in April.

“The book in a jar challenge is really fun,” expressed Sacknitz. “Every week there will be a drawing and the after school program will have a prize for them.”

To explore literacy across subjects, students are challenged to a school-wide door decorating activity for the first week of March.

Week 2 will be “Wacky Words Week” and each student will be asked to make up a word along with the definition. Guest readers will be on campus during week 3 to read to the students and week 4 will be the writer’s gallery.

Family literacy night will wrap up the festivities on Friday, March 27 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.