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Drop everything and read

Krystle Wagner • Mar 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM

FERRYSBURG — The hallways at West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics were filled with students reading alongside their peers and teachers as the entire charter school participated in a D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) drill Monday afternoon.

The activity was part of the school’s celebration of March is Reading Month. This year’s theme is the Olympics; the tagline is, “go for the gold and read.”

First-grader Micah Kelley said he likes reading because it helps him learn.

In addition to spirit days throughout the month, author Kevin Kammeraad will visit the school March 19. 

Academy families with kids in grades K-3 will have the chance to participate in a reading night from 5:30-7 p.m. March 22. During that time, families can play games and parents will learn about strategies and techniques to use when they read with their children, said Mindy Dyke, a first-grade teacher.

Classes have a chance to earn prizes by logging the number of minutes they read at home. The classroom that reads the most will earn “gold” — a pizza party. The second-place class will receive “silver,” which consists of watching a movie in the school’s theater. The “bronze” class will earn goodie bags.

If the entire school reads 500,000 minutes at home, the students will have a chance to duct tape Interim Director Steve Chartier and Assistant Director Tighe Carter to the wall.

First-grader Aila Nicholson said she enjoys reading.

“Reading is fun because you can just sit down and read, and not put your mind on anything else,” she said.

With the incentives in place, Nicholson said she hopes her class reads enough minutes to earn the movie prize.

Georgeanne Larsen, a kindergarten and first-grade teacher, said they’re promoting being lifelong readers. Larsen serves as chairwoman of the school’s March is Reading Month committee.

Dyke, also a member of the March is Reading Month committee, said the month-long activities are aimed at helping develop reading habits at home.

“(I hope) they learn to love to read,” she said.

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