Students show words are best worn

By Billy Ludt


Staff and students at Canfield elementary schools are celebrating the value of reading this week by taking their appreciation beyond the page.

“We want the kids to be active and reading all the time,” third-grade teacher Marie Rupert said. “Some students think reading is boring. As long as you find the right book that could draw your attention, it can be interesting. Reading is everywhere. It’s in everything you do.”

Hilltop Elementary kicked off Right to Read Week with an opening ceremony of Olympic proportions. Each classroom created a country and flag, and marched through the school flying their respective colors.

Rupert and kindergarten teacher Meaghan Manning were in charge of organizing activities for the school’s fourth year of celebrating Right to Read Week. The two said preparations began at the start of the school year.

What is taught in elementary school stays with a person, unlike subjects taught in high school, such as calculus, Manning said.

“We have the benefit of, everything we teach every day, you will use for the rest of your life,” Manning said.

On Tuesday, students dressed as the characters from their favorite books.

Third-grader Makayla Brown, who dressed as Nancy Drew, said she enjoys the week because she sees the costumes her peers wear.

“I love mysteries and [Nancy Drew] is pretty much the only girl detective that I read,” she said.

Fourth-grader Tony DeRamo dressed as Peter Rabbit, the bunny who acted against his mother’s wishes and was nearly caught by the farmer next door after nabbing some carrots.

“He doesn’t listen, like me, and he’s funny,” Tony said.

Similar to Peter Rabbit, second-grader Eva Camuso dressed as Pippi Longstocking, the free-spirited redhead.

Eva chose Longstocking “because she’s hilarious. The first day she went to school, she quit, and she gave her teacher a diamond watch because she thought she deserved it.”

In the spirit of the week’s Olympic theme, hockey players from the Youngstown Phantoms read to students Tuesday morning.

“The purpose is to show them as role models that you can be more than an athlete,” Manning said.

For Phantoms player Michael Regush, reading is essential for training. Players and coaches research the teams they compete against to better prepare themselves.

“It’s necessary that we give back to the community,” Regush said. “They take us in, and they come to our games.”

Today, students can dress the way reading makes them feel, and Friday they’ll dress as Dr. Seuss characters to celebrate the late author.

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