March 7-- Toombs Central Elementary School students were challenged by their school principal to read 1,000 books during the week of the National Education Association’s, Read Across America (February 26th – March 2nd).
Read Across America is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually the week of March 2nd – Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books. Mrs. Tonawanda Irie issued the 1000-book challenge on Friday, February 23rd, and the students began logging the books they read throughout the following week.
As a prize for meeting the challenge, Mrs. Irie promised to give a big smooch to Mr. Squeaks, a locally owned piglet. The week began with students reading their hearts out, and ended the same way – students were motivated and eager to meet the 1000-book mark! Throughout the week, students participated in many festivities and dress up days celebrating the life and works of one of America’s most beloved children’s authors, Dr. Seuss. On Friday, March 2nd, the students celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday in the gym with Truffula Tree snacks and Lorax juice… BUT, had they met the challenge?
As the students entered the gym, it was impossible for them not to notice the featured guest – Mr. Squeaks – a 3-month old, black and white, spotted piglet. Mrs. Irie eyed him from afar but, at this point, the grand total had not been revealed. Mrs. Irie, sporting bright red lipstick donated by Merle Norman, a tiara, and wearing a custom-designed t-shirt created by T98, had been anxiously awaiting this moment all week.
Mrs. Crystal Rollins, the Music/Art teacher, had been working with 1st grade students all week on a musical rendition of Green Eggs and Ham. After all the students were seated in the gym, the 1st grade students performed masterfully. The excitement was palpable, but everyone was wondering the same thing – did they read enough books to ensure a happy ending to this fairytale?
After a brief announcement by Mr. Hartley regarding the importance of reading, it was time to reveal the results…AND….Toombs Central students, as always, rose to the challenge with a grand total of 3,849 books read!! When the total was announced, the gym walls shook with excitement.
Mrs. Irie, the princess of TCES, would finally get to kiss her prince!!! After several failed attempts, she approached Mr. Squeaks hesitantly, puckered out her lips, and SMACK!!
The students erupted in laughter and squeals of excitement. A jolt of energy shook Mrs. Irie so hard that her tiara nearly flew off her head!! At the end of the day, everyone was a winner. Sure, the pig didn’t transform into a prince, but TCES students were kings and queens of Reading for the week!