The elementary students are in a reading race, “From Sea to Shining Sea.” We started at the Pacific Ocean in October and are making our way to the Atlantic. We have challenged the students to make reading a daily part of their lives. For many of our young students, reading short books daily helps develop this habit. One goal in developing this habit is to point out to the students that one day it is important to read God’s Word each day for daily, holy living.
You might wonder, “How do you stretch this race out all year?” Great question! Each classroom sets a monthly reading goal, and the students have the entire month to accomplish it. As of February 1, the first-grade had reached the Atlantic, securing their class ticket to the April “S’more Party.” In addition to reading monthly goals, the first Thursday chapel of each month finds the elementary in a reading rally in the junior high gym. We dress up, we sing “America, The Beautiful,” we play some games, and we think about a way to use reading in our lives (for travel, for following instructions in baking, for safety, health and wellness, for knowing about God, for helping others).
This year's reading emphasis has been enjoyable in many ways, but one highlight comes at each monthly reading rally. Our students have a short time to read with a reading buddy. Older students are paired with younger students. It is a blessing to see how the older fourth through sixth-grade students have developed relationships with their kindergarten through third-grade “buddies” and take the role of reading to these younger students seriously. Keep reading, students! There are plenty of treasures for you yet to learn.