Reading program

With their favourite teddy bears in one hand and a book in the other, students at St. Michael’s School here participated in worldwide campaign for reading last Friday morning.
The third-annual “United We Read” campaign is designed to have children all over the world reading together. Organized by Scholastic Books, students in dozens of countries this year read for 2,002 seconds (33 1/3 minutes).
First-grade teacher Raeann Wood thought the program was a wonderful idea and decided to get her 30 students involved.
“The best way to teach children to read is to actively sit down with them and read,” she said as students curled up in corners of the classroom with their books, reading out loud or having others read to them.
To make the day even more special, Wood allowed her students to wear their pajamas to school for the day and bring in their favourite books to read. Some also brought along stuffed animals to read to.
Wood also thought the best way to make the program a success would be to invite parents to come in and read with their children.
Wendy Horn was among a dozen parents dropped by Friday.
“The kids look like they had a lot of fun,” she said as the reading program ended and the children settled down for some well-deserved cookies and milk.
“The timing, 33-and-a-third minutes, threw me but it’s fun that kids all around the world doing it,” she added.
Meanwhile, Wood said having the parents there made her students even more enthused about reading.
“They’re excited to read and excited to bring their parents in to share with them what they’ve learned in school,” she noted. “I’m excited to have so much help from the parents and to get the opportunity to read with children across the world.”
What may have seemed like a daunting challenge—keeping 30 children reading together for a half-hour—was quickly over. As the timer buzzed to signal time was up, one young boy stood up in surprise.
“It can’t be over,” he said.