They take Reading Week at seriously, and that doesn't mean dour or dull.
Along with celebrating the arts, literature and community, the teachers and students at the school have embraced Reading Week with gusto, turning it into a festive affair in addition to a chance to let their imaginations soar.
Karen Marocco, the school's reading specialist, said the students met more than eighty guest readers, designed T-shirts advertising their favorite books, dressed up like their favorite characters and competed for prizes all week long.
The theme of the annual Reading Week was "Dream It. . . Do It. . .READ!" and to accomplish that goal, Marocco and the rest of the faculty at the school combined a message encouraging students to dream big with activities like a mini Spirit Week.
In a letter in the PTO newsletter, Marocco said the following:
Woodridge students and faculty alike observed our annual Reading Week celebration the week prior to Spring Recess. The Rhode Island State Council of the International Reading Association chose the theme, “Dream It…Do It…READ!” for this year’s celebration of reading. Woodridge students and teachers accompanied by an array of kind guest readers helped us to achieve our goal and read! The week-long celebration combined the arts, literature, and community members, all honoring the amazing ways books allow your imagination to soar!
Reading Week is about the students, for the students, and therefore involves the students. Our Woodridge Wizards fired up for Reading Week long before April, with our talented art teacher, Miss Carmody’s guidance, designing artwork to decorate our corridor walls. Miss Carmody’s classes constructed beautiful posters encouraging students to “Dream It…Do It…READ!” As well, Miss Carmody designed an adorable “Thank You” card cover featuring our very own Woodridge Wizard waving his wand. Every classroom had students color the card’s cover and present a card to each guest reader after they read to the class and answered some questions about themselves or their profession.
Of course, Reading Week is all about the literature, and yet again, Mrs. Basso, our librarian, delved into our Woodridge library’s stacks, searching for ideal choices for our readers and our theme. Mrs. Basso steered me in the right direction with book selection, choosing both fiction and non-fiction, allowing students to experience some of Woodridge’s best literature, and often books that are overlooked during library check-out times. Mrs. Basso was, as always, an integral component of making the week a success, since it is always about the books!
As well, Mrs. Masi, our school secretary, contributed her graphic design talents, crafting five original bookmarks, complete with celebrated quotes about the pleasures of reading as a “Thank You” gift for our guest readers. Likewise, Mrs. Masi utilized her talents, creating a “Certificate of Achievement” for students who took initiative and composed an original poem for the statewide contest.
As always, our PTO was also actively involved throughout the process. Mrs. Lisa Mancini and Mrs. Demetra Moschetti were instrumental in assisting me contact guest readers from various diversified professions and setting the schedule for the students, which is an arduous task that requires countless hours and meticulous organizational skills! While scheduling readers during a school day is challenging, Mrs. Mancini and Mrs. Moschetti aided me in securing over eighty guest reader slots for the students! I cannot thank them enough, and I need to continuously thank them for making our Reading Week such an amazing success. Each class had at least one guest reader a day, and these community members were people who play such important roles in our society!
With sixteen classrooms involved with Reading Week, the volume of guest readers that graced Woodridge’s doorsteps was overwhelming. The PTO members yet again lent a helping hand. The PTO itself donated funds so that each guest reader would receive a Woodridge bookmark and a candle, bowed by student volunteers from Mrs. Kiley’s class. As well, funds were allotted for decorating, so that the table and hallways could look inviting and festive! The PTO also allowed funds for us to purchase prizes for teachers to distribute involving a daily classroom reading trivia contest. Additionally, various PTO members donated refreshments for our guest readers. My compliments to Lisa Mancini, Demetra Moschetti, Joanna Collins, Tania Costa, and Jordan Costa who helped to decorate the hallways. Thank you as well to Lisa Mancini, Demetra Moschetti, Kerri Kelleher, Valerie Myrick, Lori Levine, Kim Cabana, Danyel Evans, Tara Alviano, Rachel Marchetti, and Lisa Corsetti for providing a wonderful assortment of goodies each and every morning!
During Reading Week as well, our compliments to the students who celebrated with a Mini-Spirit Week. Students were dressed in their favorite sports attire to welcome Superintendent Nero, a true Yankee fan as well as School Committee member Frank Lombardi, accompanied by Middle School principals Tom Barbieri, Anthony Corrente, and Joe Rotz who represented the Red Sox. As well, it was wonderful to see so many students design their own original t-shirt and advertize their favorite book on Wednesday! To end the week, it was beyond wonderful to see so many students dressed as their favorite book characters! Woodridge School students truly do have such school spirit, yet again showing us why Woodridge is as tremendous of a school as it is!
Woodridge students continue to celebrate, with many being published in the RI Poetry Anthology, complete with a ceremony on April 28th at Hope Highlands School where each child will be provided the opportunity to read his or her submission to those gathered in the audience. As well, all students who wrote an original poem will be provided the opportunity to read their poem during a Woodridge School celebration. What a nice finale to a week dedicated to celebrating literacy!
Even though Reading Week 2012 is behind us, it is my hopes that the students recall the theme of the week. Reading allows students to dream the impossible and then go out and attempt to achieve it. We can do anything when we let our imaginations travel through reading. My wish is with the summer months approaching quickly, all Woodridge School students will embrace the opportunity to pick up a book and dream!
Again, to all the parents, faculty, Mrs. Mancini and Mrs. Moschetti, the PTO members, our guest readers, and especially the students, an enormous thank you for making Reading Week such an overwhelming success!