Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 28, 2014

They can read in the house; they can read with a mouse

By Xiomara Levsen | Mar 01, 2013
Dressed up as Thing One is Kael Johnson (left) who is reading  “The Lorax.” His father, Tony Johnson, and his sister, Maise Johnson, who is dressed up as Thing Two, are reading together.

RIVERSIDE — When walking into Riverside Elementary School you don’t usually see Thing One and Thing Two walking around, or The Cat In The Hat reading to students in one of the classrooms. However, Dr. Seuss was alive and well throughout the school on Thursday, Feb. 28.
The school held its second Literacy Night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and this year’s theme was Dr. Seuss books.
Children could choose from different rooms that featured Dr. Seuss stories including “Yertle The Turtle,” The Cat In The Hat,” “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut,” “The Lorax,” “Hop on Pop,” and “Gertrude McFuzz.”
In these rooms, teachers would read to the students and have an activity for them to do. One of the activities was what children could do to help save the environment. Afterward each student received a box of seeds to plant. They could also make whiskers and hats so they could appear as “The Cat In The Hat.”
“We chose what book we wanted to do based on our grade level,” said third-grade teacher Mary Beth Sammons.
She was impressed with the amount of people who attended last night’s event.
“I see moms, dads, brothers, and sisters here tonight,” she said. “Literacy night isn’t just about the kids but family involvement as well.”
People in attendance ranged from infants all the way up to middle school age, not counting the number of parents who came with their children.
There were three rotations that allowed attendees to choose what activity they would like to do next.
Sammons estimated that her room alone had over 50 people in it.
“I think it is fabulous,” she said. “A couple of times tonight my room was full.”
For Principal Eric Ewald, this was his first Literacy Night. Ewald said this event came to light because of the teachers’ hard work.
“We had a committee of staff members that have met since December,” Ewald said. “They brainstormed a little bit and picked out what they wanted to do. This event should be credited to the teachers because they organized it.”
Ewald was also pleased with the turnout.
“It’s gotten busier as the night has gone on,” Ewald said.
The most important thing about Literacy Night to Ewald was getting the kids to read.
“We’ve had previous awards throughout the year for meeting reading goals like the kids getting hot chocolate,” he said. “But the thing to instill is the enjoyment of reading. It’s a work in progress.”
Throughout the week students had a theme for the day. Yesterday, students came to school dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss character.
“There have been some very, very creative outfits,” Ewald said. “It’s nice to see the kids excited.”
At the end of the evening families went to the gym where the school provided cupcakes, and books were available for each student to take home.
Like other students second-grader Ryan Mattus, son of Vicki Colton, was found in the gym at the end of the evening trying to decide which book he wanted to take home. He enjoyed the evening.
“I like having fun and really enjoyed the cupcakes,” Mattus said. “I haven’t been to all of the rooms yet.”
For next year there are talks about adding a math event at the school but last night teachers, parents, and students agreed that this was a fun event to attend.

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