Thanks to Voyager Elementary School Special Education teacher Leslie Walker, I got to attend the school’s annual “Camp Read A Lot.” What a great evening gamboling among throngs of kids, siblings, parents and staff, all dedicated to having fun reading.
“Camp Read A Lot is one of my favorite events each year,” said Walker. “This, the second such, involved so many families, parents and teachers. Makes it worth while when you can see everyone engaged together in a fun night of reading.”
First-grader Brooklyn Michaelson exulted, “We got to get a Smartie and a book!”
Classmate Gavin Taylor “got to get trail mix with marshmallows and chocolate and a couple of yummy crackers. We walked around in a circle. We stopped on a word when the music stopped. Then we got to pick out two books!”
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“I got baby books for my cousin, Baby Eric,” said first-grader Matthew Cooper. “I also got a chapter book about SpongeBob and my sister did, too.”
Walker, Catherine Schwab and Annette Welpman were the lead “Rangers.” Participating local authors included James Livingood of “Lucy the Hiking Bunny,” Dr. Katrina Hay (“Little Bear’s Big Sky”) and Lindsey Craig (“Oh So Quiet”), all of whom reveled in reading with the youngsters.
Camp stations included sight word games, parent information, building words, poet-tree, book walk, read to a dog, read in a tent/canoe, photo booth, and glamping with technology. Assisting was the Pierce County library, numerous Voyager staff, and parent volunteers.
“Lucy the Hiking Bunny” author Livingood confided, “I smiled a lot at Read A Lot. I enjoyed students yelling out the answers, followed by them raising their hands. It made me happy to see them enjoying my book.”
“When the author was reading the book about bunnies, I got to find the dog bones,” proclaimed third-grader Clara Reis. “It is my second time coming. It’s fun. I also got to make an owl out of paper and decorate it.”
Second-grader Drew Fredericks “got to read in the tent and that was fun. We had to get six stickers. When I did, I went to the Ranger station and got my treat. I liked getting s’mores.”
To classmate Aurora Whitmore, “hearing the star story was the best. Katrina Hay told me about how shooting stars were alive. She added sparkle spots on the screen. I went to the Book Walk and won a star wars book. During ‘Lucy the Hiking Bunny,’ I found dog bones.”
To first-grader Christopher Costanza, “The fishing one was the best, where you got to say the word you caught. I also got to read a book about a reindeer and dogs!” Exclaimed classmate Rylan Huber, “I liked the games. I got to catch seven fish and got all the words right.”
Fourth-grader Sierra Whitmore “liked the same ones as my sister and I got to listen to stories by authors and meet them. I liked making the owls. It was also fun to play BINGO; I got a few matches!”
“One third grader show(ed) mom how she takes an AR test,” Walker said. “When finished, she said excitedly, ‘Look, Mom. The flower filled up more. I passed!’ Every parent loved learning about what their child’s AR tests actually look like … a visual!!” (Translation: AR: Accelerated Reader, a computer program for reading comprehension.)
Now you know everything!
For more info, call Walker at 253-530-4868.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at email@example.com.