Boardman elementary schools get to know their inner monsters

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Market Street Elementary School student Serenity Parker volunteered during Alex LeVasseur and Chris Stanley's presentation to the school.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Serenity Parker walked like Godzilla during Chris Stanley and Alex LeVasseur's presentation at Market Street Elementary School's celebration of Right to Read week.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Chris Stanley read his book "Dr. Ulysses J. Picklebottom's guide to Everyday Household Monsters (And How to Defeat Them)" to students at Market Street Elementary School.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Authors and illustrators Alex LeVasseur and Chris Stanley, who wrote "Dr. Ulysseus J. Picklebottom's Guide to Everyday Household Monsters (And How to Defeat Them)," presented to Boardman students May 7.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Chris Stanley addressed students gathered at Market Street Elementary School on May 7 during their presentation celebrating Right to Read week.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Boardman elementary schools were visited by guest authors to celebrate Right to Read week.

Alex LaVasseur and Chris Stanley, co-authors of “Dr. Ulysses J. Picklebottom’s Guide to Everyday Household Monsters (and How to Defeat Them)” among other books, visited the schools.

“In today’s day and age fostering creativity is so important,” Stanley said. “We just want to help with that and help grow the students love of reading.”

LaVasseur and Stanley have been friends since high school, according to Stanley, who said they met running laps at band practice their freshman year.

“We were able to remain friends, and really create these great stories that we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to share with children,” Stanley said.

LaVasseur and Stanley traveled to each of the elementary school’s in Boardman to meet with students.

During the event Stanley said they first performed a “creativity exercise” to warm students up.

The exercise focused on monsters of all kinds, ranging from Godzilla to zombies, fitting the theme of their popular book.

Students then worked as a group to tell a story with LaVasseur and Stanley about their own monster that the LaVasseur illustrated in real time.

“We just have a passion for what we do, and we love the creativity that kids these age bring to the process,” LaVasseur said.

Stanley explained that each of the drawing created with the help of Boardman students would appear in the second Dr. Ulysses J. Picklebottom book.

“We are very grateful to have them with us, they are from Ohio and the students love the book,” said Julie Kamenitsa, the reading intervention specialist at Market Street Elementary School.

Kamenitsa said that the event was a part of the districts celebration of Right to Read week.

“Right to Read is a state wide effort to grow literacy skills and appreciation for reading in students,” Kamenitsa said.

The program was started by the Ohio Literacy Association as a way to promote literacy in Ohio schools.

Along with the visit from the authors, all Boardman elementary schools spent the week learning about the value of reading. This year’s theme for the week was “reading can make your imagination grow,” according to Kamenitsa.

Each day of the week was designated a theme that students could dress up for.

Teachers also organized a number of guest readers to visit, and gave out prizes to students who were reading the most.

“It’s all about growing the love of reading in our students,” Kamenitsa said. “We are so happy that these guys can come in and help us do just that.”

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