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Read Across America: Schools, library use fun to promote reading to youth

Students and faculty at Fort Rucker Elementary School dress as twins during ‘Thing One and Thing Two’ day at FRES in recognition of Read Across America Week March 4. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Students and faculty at Fort Rucker Elementary School dress as twins during ‘Thing One and Thing Two’ day at FRES in recognition of Read Across America Week March 4. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: March 10, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 10, 2016) -- Reading is a vital part of life that people not only use as a tool to function throughout day-to-day life, but also as a means to gain knowledge and even escape reality for a time.

Fort Rucker participated in Read Across America Week Feb. 29 through March 4 where students at Fort Rucker schools, as well as families who visited the Center Library were treated to a week of learning with Dr. Seuss.

“Reading is such a fundamental skill and we take great pride in providing our students with exemplary instruction in reading and language arts,” said Vicki Gilmer, FRES principal. “In a recent research study completed by the (Department of Defense Education Activity), second and third grade students at FRES scored the second highest in all of DODEA in the Reading Proficiency Assessment given to all students in kindergarten through third grade.”

FRES students had 72.5 percent of students score above the standard in reading proficiency, she added.

In order to celebrate their success and Read Across America Week, students at the school were able to participate in activities throughout the week.

March 1, students got the chance to celebrate with the Cat in the Hat, followed by Wacky Wednesday March 2. March 3, they participated in a “Dress Your Best” day, and March 4, the school culminated the week with “Thing One and Thing Two” day, which had students dressing as twins throughout the day.

Several children at the school said they enjoyed the week because it allowed them to explore different types of books, aside from the textbooks they use to learn.

“I love reading because I learn stuff and because it is full of wonderful stories,” said Savannah Crigger, FRES second grader. “I really like to read.”

“Adventures wait in each book, so everyone should go take a look,” said Kali Niemann, fellow second grader. “I see fantasy. I see kings and queens. That’s why I love reading.”

For others, reading is about fueling the imagination and picturing new worlds.

“Reading books without pictures is awesome because you can imagine the pictures for yourself,” said Jacob Chapman, FRES 6th Grader. “There is always a story to suit my mood.”

In addition to the events at the schools, the Center Library held its own story times, as well as a time for arts and crafts.

Parents and their children were invited to take part in a Dr. Seuss-themed arts and craft session March 2 where they were able to make different crafts to celebrate the author’s birthday. Additionally, a Dr. Seuss Story Time was held March 4 at the Center Library where parents were able to bring their children to listen to some classic tales by the famed author.

“I really think it’s such a great idea that they bring light to something that seems so basic, but is also so important,” said Julia Stenson, military spouse. “If we can get into children’s minds how important reading is, and let them see that at an early age, then hopefully they’ll take reading on as a hobby instead of something that they feel that they have to do.”

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