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To be a rock star…

Have you ever wanted to feel like a rock star? Do you desire the thrill and the rush of having crowds of pumped up fans screaming your name while they wave their hands wildly in the air?

Have you wondered what it would be like to be unable to hear anything around you because the chants and cheers for you were just SO LOUD?

This past week, the energy inside the gymnasium at Eastside Elementary school was electric because a celebrity, of sorts, was in the town and in the building, and the students knew it. Shrieks, screams, and laughter filled the gymnasium

This is the day for which they had been waiting nearly three weeks!

As the guest of honor entered the gym, students mobbed the “star” for hugs and high-fives, and the smiles on their faces stretched from wall to wall.

No, it wasn’t a surprise visit from One Direction or some professional athlete that had the kids so pumped up, but rather a tall, green bird named Slappy!

Slappy is the mascot for the Kalamazoo Wings, the professional hockey team that plays in the ECHL. Slappy is a fan favorite at Wings Stadium and around the Kalamazoo area. You can now add Constantine to that list.

The K-Wings mascot was in town to help the students at Eastside celebrate their success during March Reading Month. When I found out earlier this year that the K-Wings had a reading club for area schools to participate in, I passed the information along to the principal and Media Specialist. Our wonderful Media Specialist, Mrs. Debra Nihart, worked hard, along with the K-Wings organization, to make it the reading program a reality for our students this year.

Each teacher set a goal for their class to meet. If the students met the goal, they each received a FREE ticket to select upcoming K-Wings games. In addition, family members of the students could purchase tickets at a reduced rate as well.

Reading is important, and Mrs. Nihart pulls out all the stops to encourage reading in our school ALL year long, not just March Reading Month, but her efforts are doubled when March rolls around.

In the students’ eyes, Slappy was the big star. It was almost like the Beatles had invaded the school with the rousing welcome Slappy received! In reality, however, and I am sure Slappy would agree, the true stars of the day were the students. They were the ones who read the books and took the tests to meet their goals. They are the ones that the spotlight should shine brightly on!

Do I want the rock star treatment? No thanks. However, I am sure my students would love to see me in a costume of some sort, I would imagine. Seeing the students meet goals and reach for the stars is the only repayment I need or want.

I have come across several articles on the importance of reading, especially for school-aged children and the benefits they can receive from reading just 20 minutes a day. According to readingfoundation.org, just 20 minutes a day reading aloud with young children strengthens relationships, encourages listening and language skills, promotes attention and curiosity, and establishes a strong reading foundation. These skills are essential for success in school and in life.

20 MINUTES A DAY

Read to your children

Twenty minutes a day;

You have the time,

And so do they.

Read while the laundry is in the machine;

Read while dinner cooks;

Tuck a child in the crook of your arm

And reach for the library books.

Hide the remote,

Let the computer games cool,

For one day your child will be off to school;

Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice.

Let them hear their first tales,

In the sound of your voice.

Read in the morning,

Read over noon,

Read by the light of

Goodnight Moon.

Turn the pages together,

Sitting close as you’ll fit,

‘Till a small voice beside you says,

“Hey, don’t quit.”

Author Unknown