Reading at GES is in BOE spotlight

Published 12:29 pm Saturday, April 7, 2018

“A huge hit.”

That’s how Griggs Elementary School principal Angel Lasher described a new program for all grades that started at the school in November called “Read Across the Rainbow.”

The principal said students want to read and they want to read different genres of books.

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The kids agreed as they explained how the program works during the school spotlight segment at last month’s Board of Education meeting.

A few charms and some other “rewards” also helped put the icing on the cake for students.

A group of third and fourth graders talked about cards they get with different categories of books listed. As they read the books, at home and at school, and fill out the categories, they get to go charm shopping on Fridays when they pick a charm from a wide variety of options. It was apparent the charms are a big hit, as kids talked about picking a soccerball charm, a surf board, Mickey Mouse, a Pittsburgh Steelers charm.

But, they were also excited to find out they liked different types of books, like mysteries and histories, fantasies and facts, electricity and magnetism, and books they’ve never seen before.

And those special “rewards” encouraged kids to keep reading. When the school reached its 5,000 book goal, the principal and assistant principal dressed in tutus and tiaras. At 7,000, they get a Pajama Day at school. And at 10,000 they get to zap their principal with Silly String.

The excitement about reading is spreading. Lasher noted that the recent family reading night at the school drew more than 80 families, the best turnout she said she’s seen in the five years she has been principal at Griggs. She also expects the program to help boost reading scores at the school.

The audience also picked up on the excitement, giving the students a round of applause for their achievements and enthusiasm.