By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Students at Ute Perkins Elementary School took a voyage into reading last week. While they were there, they got a glimpse into the future to see what it will be like when they become Moapa Valley Pirates.
The event was part of the Perkins Reading Week celebrations that happened last week in conjunction with Nevada Reading Week. The week consisted of a host of activities that promoted reading and learning to love books in a fun way for kids as they work toward their reading goals for the year.
This year’s Perkins reading week activities were organized by school librarian Brooke Williams. Williams went all-out making sure the week was fun for the kids.
This year’s Reading Week theme, “Reading is a Voyage,” started off with a blast into space. Monday was“Voyage Into Space Day.”
Tuesday held a special surprise for the students with the theme being “Voyage on a Pirate Ship.” Students and teachers came to school in their best pirate attire. There they were met by the Moapa Valley High School mascot “Pirate Pete,” who was accompanied by MVHS Student Body President Kasen Kolhoss and several members of the MVHS student council.
The high school kids read a pirate-themed picture book to the kids and took turns telling about their favorite books. Meanwhile Pirate Pete went around and gave high-fives to everyone.
Other dress up days for the week included “Voyage to Another Time,” “Voyage to Another Land,” and “Voyage to the Clouds (pajama day).”
The fun wasn’t just limited to dressing up, however. Every day was packed with fun reading activities. Each morning the school had two mystery readers read to them. One was a staff member and one was a student. Kids got to vote on who they thought the mystery readers were each day.
Also every day was Reading Bingo. Bingo cards were distributed to each class and the winning class won a prize.
One of the most popular activities, though, was “Drop Everything and Read!” time every day. During this time, students were allowed to stop whatever they were doing and read for a while.
In addition to the daily activities, Williams also organized several other special events for the week. Students were able to participate in a Passport Reading Challenge. They took a sheet of special reading tasks home at the first of the week and checked off those they were able to complete for a prize at the end of the week. They also had bookmark decorating contests, door decorating, and buddy reading that paired older students with younger students.
Another fun activity was the Voyage Photo Booth in the library. There students took a picture of themselves in front of a green screen. They then could put their picture up with their favorite book as a background.
In a poetry contest, students and staff members were encouraged to submit poems to the library that were created around the theme. One winner from each grade received a prize.
The weeklong event was very popular among the students and received rave reviews. Gwen Foster, 5th grade, said her favorite events of the week were “Drop Everything and Read” and dressing up. “It was really fun seeing what everyone wore for their costumes,” she said.
Gwen’s mom, Myrna, was also happy with the events. “Mrs. Williams does such a great job with making reading fun for the kids at Perkins,” she said.
Everyone seemed to like different parts of the week. Micah Boss, 1st grade, said, “My favorite thing was earning stars so our school could reach its goal. If we earn enough stars, we might earn a great big party.”
Micah’s brother Caleb, however, loved dressing up as a pirate because he got to play pirates with someone.
Big brother Braden, 4th grade, loved getting to drop everything and read because he loves to read.
Anita McClean, 3rd grade, said, “My favorite part was dressing up because we got to be silly. I also loved Reading Bingo.”
Librarian Brooke Williams was pleased with how the week went and the positive attitude the students showed. “Reading week is a fun way to get kids excited about reading as we get farther into the year,” Williams said. “It helps them make progress towards their own reading goals and the school goals while showing them that reading can be fun.”
The Perkins school goal for this year was to get 162 star points. That goal has already been exceeded by over 100 points with a total of 294 points earned.
“I’m very proud of them and the hard work and effort they put in,” Williams said. “It’s a positive event for the whole school.”