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Schools inspire area students to read more
Stafford County students enjoy fun and games as part of National Book Month.

LEE WOOLF
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Date published: 10/13/2004

By LEE WOOLF

IT SEEMS whenever I write about projects going on in the Stafford County school system, I can't help but be impressed by the many creative ways that teachers inspire their students.

October, for example, is National Book Month, and it's a time when county schools launch a variety of programs to make reading fun and exciting for Stafford children.

Here are just a few of the activities pulled from e-mail responses from county schools:

At Falmouth Elementary, the staff is using a baseball theme, "Step Up to the Plate with Reading." Principal Gayle Thyrring said the students have been challenged to read 10,000 books by the end of the month. If they do, Thyrring and Assistant Principal Lynn Smith will dress up as baseball team mascots.

Classes have written to major-league teams about donating prizes. And the teams have responded with bumper stickers, baseball cards, bobble-head dolls and pennants.

The school also is celebrating weekly seventh-inning stretches by having the students sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," followed by 15-minute reading periods for both staff members and students.

More than 400 people attended the school's Family Reading Night, where they received a baseball meal of--what else--hot dogs.

At Garrisonville Elementary, things are pretty quiet between 9:05 and 9:15 each morning. That's the daily DEAR Time--Drop Everything And Read--for both students and staff.

The school's "Team Up with Reading" effort is a yearlong project that includes book bingo, which encourages students to read different kinds of books, and the accumulation of reading points. Prizes range from buttons and certificates to T-shirts and gift certificates. In addition, if the students achieve 8,000 points, Principal Pam Kahle has agreed to sit in the dunking booth at the school's spring field day.

The reading program began with a big pep rally at neighboring A.G. Wright Middle School. Performances by the North Stafford High School cheerleaders and the A.G. Wright band helped put the Garrisonville students in the right frame of mind.

At H.H. Poole Middle School, the theme for the semiannual Read-In event is "Make Your Own Magic--Read!" At the Oct. 21 event, students will read, play games, win prizes and eat pizza.


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