March can be a tricky month. The snow is melting [or gone!], the sun shows its face every once in a while, the school year already seems so long and all of West Michigan is counting the days until Spring Break.
But it’s also the perfect time to pull out a good book and get lost in another world usually full of adventure, fun and, if you’re a kid, hopefully a good giggle.
National Reading Month is celebrated in March and coincides with the birthday of the beloved Dr Seuss on March 2. Schools across the country find various ways to honor the author and kick off the month of March and its focus on reading. In our Jenison Elementary Schools the month was begun with two days of the Guest Reader Event which brought nearly 20 guest readers to classrooms to model reading for the students. The Guest Reader roster included principals, district administrators, retirees, library volunteers, a Georgetown Township librarian, several Ottawa County officers, native Spanish readers from Lindo Mexican Restuarant, JPS employees and friends. Additionally, the event is intended to expose students to the pleasures of reading and to present a positive reading role model. Reading to children brings enjoyment to both the readers and the students, and reinforces the idea that reading is fun for everyone.
During their visit the Guest Readers were encouraged to spend their time with students talking about their love of reading, a couple of favorite books at their age or even a childhood memory related to reading. Of course, they also took time to read a favorite book to the class.
Elementary Media Specialist and organizer of the Guest Reader event, Jan Staley says that the two-day event was so well received by students they are planning to make it an annual kick off to Reading Month!
She adds, “March is a fabulous month that is dedicated to the enjoyment of reading. Reading is invaluable as it increases our creative and imaginative mind, develops our cognitive abilities and helps to sharpen our analyzing and problem solving tools also. The more you read about others lives and experiences the higher the chances of you becoming a better decision maker yourself. Reading is a journey that benefits the entire community!”