On Thursday, Central Elementary School and Jefferson Intermediate School hosted its third quarter family fun night, featuring a celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday as well as Nebraska’s 150th birthday, all to promote a love of reading in the next generation.
Principal of Jefferson Intermediate Jeremy Christiansen explained that this has been a strong event for a number of years, helping to promote reading.
“The Read Across America is something that started out as a recognition of Dr. Seuss’ birthday,” said Christiansen. “The National Education Association promotes that as a day to celebrate everything Seuss. For many years, we’ve done some community connections where we’ve gone to read at assisted living facilities in the community, or done radio shows, that sort of thing. It’s an opportunity for us at school to really celebrate reading and the importance of reading for kids and families. We emphasize the importance of families reading together.”
Christiansen believes there are numerous benefits of having families read with their kids, especially in the early development ages through middle school. He explained that is why they work so hard to promote reading with events like Read Across America.
Along with the celebration Thursday, the Fairbury Kiwanis hosted a pancake feed to help raise funds to provide books for kids. Christiansen is grateful for the partnership with the organization because of its goal.
“We’re happy to partner with the Fairbury Kiwanis,” Christiansen said. “As part of their mission, they want to support youth events and the community, so they’ve partnered with us for nine years. They take all of the proceeds from the pancake feed and use those funds to purchase books for kids to take home and start a home library. The last three years, we’ve been able to raise enough funds so that every child in preschool through sixth grade has had two books to take home. It’s been really terrific.”
Two guest readers attended the event to read stories to kids, followed by opportunities for students to read with their parents. Also at the event were a number of fun games for kids to play. Christiansen hopes that the love for reading continues to spread to other students with other projects at the school, such as the third grade class visiting area assisted living facilities to read to the residents.
“There’s lots of ways that we try to promote reading and the love of reading,” said Christiansen. “We want students to know that reading can be enjoyable and can be a great choice activity. I think these opportunities come up occasionally, but I also would say these are just a few examples of the terrific things that our students and our teachers are doing on a day to day basis. These are things we can showcase, but we are seeing kids develop these skills every day.”