By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Fannie E. Proctor Elementary School kicked off its literacy week Feb. 5 with signs, posters, special guests and even a red carpet. Students were the VIPs as they committed the week to celebrate reading.
The kickoff to the event included an all-school assembly. Principal Alana Cyr showed a video during the assembly that featured the story of Malcom Mitchell, the New England Patriots wide receiver. When entering college, Mitchell was reading at a junior high school level. He admitted in the interview that playing football came naturally, but he really had to work at reading.
“Reading is not always easy,” said Cyr. “It takes hard work and practice to get better.”
Students were also surprised with a visit from Trax and Jake, the mascots from the Worcester Railers hockey team and the Worcester Bravehearts baseball team. A team representative read a book to the enthusiastic students, and students were able to high five the mascots at the end of the assembly.
Cyr said that it is the second year that the school held a literacy week. Every day during the week had a different event planned, such as Dress Like your Favorite Literary Character and Wear Your Favorite Sunglasses Day because cool readers wear cool shades. The week wrapped up with older students reading to their buddies in the lower grades.
The month of February also marks the 8th annual read-a-thon sponsored by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). This year’s theme is “Proctor School Loves to Read” and kids raise money while reading. Proceeds benefit the PTO’s mission of providing enrichment programs, scholarships and grants for the school. The class with the highest amount of minutes logged will win Worcester Braveheart tickets.
Read-a-thon coordinator Teri Keene said, “We do not put a goal out to students, but they are encouraged to read at least 15 minutes a night for the entire month.”
“It’s not about how many books they read,” said Cyr. “It’s about goals and the number of minutes students commit to reading.”
Cyr, however, has challenged the students to go one step further. If students collectively log a total of 3,000 minutes of reading during the month of February, students will be able to slime her.
She suggested students set dedicated time every day to get lost in a book. She is setting the example with her own goal to turn off all screens and read every night before going to sleep.
“Find time to read every day,” she said. “Share what you are reading with friends. There’s something for everyone.”