Pottsgrove Plans ‘Read Across America’ Activities

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – National Read Across America Week, an event sponsored by the National Education Association since 1998, will be observed from Monday (Feb. 27, 2023) through March 3 (Friday) at the Pottsgrove School District’s three elementary schools. A variety of activities are planned by teachers at its West Pottsgrove, Ringing Rocks, and Lower Pottsgrove buildings.

The national program’s past alignment with children’s author Theodore Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss, whose birthday is observed March 2 – will be less prominent than before. The association has chosen to put greater emphasis on authors whose books reflect themes of inclusivity and diversity, and it also recommended selected titles. The joy and value of reading remains the week’s focus.

The association’s plans for the week involve several themed days, all of which are reflected with minor variations at each of the schools.

Monday (Feb. 27) is “Pajama Day” at all three, during which students get to wear their pajamas to class. They’ll be comfortable and cozy to enjoy the primary activity, known as DEAR: “Drop Everything and Read.” The times for DEAR differ at each school, but roughly 30 to 45 minutes are set aside so students can do nothing but read, or be read to, using books of their choosing.

Tuesday (Feb. 28) is devoted to career choices, with labels like “Dress as Your Future” in Ringing Rocks, and “Clotheslines Clues to Jobs People Do,” in West Pottsgrove. Students in both schools are being encouraged to wear clothing and gear that reflects what they currently want to be when they “grow up.”

  • In West, according to second-grade teacher Stephany Gerloff and librarian Sarah Matheny, teachers in all classes can take photos of children in their career garb and then hang them on an indoor clothesline for others to see.
  • At Ringing, reading specialist Lauren Brittingham reports that Lower Pottsgrove firefighter and children’s author Steve Dragon will be a guest reader of one of his books.
  • Lower is switching up its schedule Tuesday, and presenting its second annual “Vocabulary Parade.” Third-grade teacher Shari Costanzo said each grade has its own word list, and students will march in parts of the building to show off their selected words. The event draws inspiration, she added, from the award-winning book “Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster” by author and illustrator Debra Fraiser.

“Word Day” is Wednesday (March 1) at Ringing and West, and “Dress As Your Future” Day” at Lower.

  • At Ringing, kids can wear something they can read; think of a T-shirt with the word “Happiness!” on it. Later during the day, Brittingham noted, students will be treated to a preview of the musical “Anything Goes,” being staged at Pottsgrove High.
  • In West, kids will serve as “word collectors.” They’ll add words to the school’s word jar, which Gerloff said was a bulletin board to display and promote everyone’s favorites.

The highlight of the week’s events at all three schools occurs Thursday (March 2), their organizers say. High school students and sports team members, as well as administrators and others, will fan out to classrooms at Lower, Ringing, and West with books in hand, and read aloud to students. At Lower, Pottsgrove’s football players will continue a long-standing tradition of doubling as guest readers. Pottsgrove cheerleaders will handle reading chores at West. At Ringing, readers will face classrooms filled with students wearing clothes that show off the color of their favorite fruit!

Finally, Friday (March 3) is “Spirit Day” for Pottsgrove’s elementary learners.

  • At Lower, Costanzo said, children’s author Jordan Sonnerblick will spend time at Lower to conduct three separate assemblies for its three grade levels.
  • In West, where the book of the day will be “My Body is a Rainbow: The Colors of My Feelings,” Gerloff said students’ clothing color choices will reflect positive feelings about themselves; and
  • A student dance party is planned at Ringing, Brittingham added.

Photo by Artur Verkhovetskiy on Deposit Photos, used under license