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School hosts ceremony for 'I Love to Read' Month

WORTHINGTON -- They paraded by fellow students single file -- decorated by class theme in brightly-colored leis for a luau, googly-eyed glasses and tie-dyed T-shirts -- most of them grinning from ear to ear.

Wednesday marked the first day of February, but for students at Worthington's Prairie Elementary, it meant the kickoff to "I Love to Read" Month.

An opening ceremony in the school's gymnasium Wednesday morning included the official passing of the torch, the reading of "Tacky and the Olympic Games," and a song set to the tune of "YMCA" in which students sang, "Find one ... Find a book just for you. This will be more fun than you even knew. You'll be reading, never putting it down. It's the hottest thing in our town."

If it was meant to pump students up about reading, it certainly did.

Fifth-grader Alex Rodriguez said he'd like to read 100 books during the month of February. His favorite books include "Magic Treehouse" and "The Series of Unfortunate Events."

"I like to read," Rodriguez said.

Edgar Pinales said he thought books were "funny and interesting." He is hoping to read 10 or 20 books during the month, and his favorite book is "Holes" by Louis Sachar.

Throughout February, students will take part in a variety of events tied to reading, Prairie Elementary Principal Nancy Antoine said. Each week will include a different activity for students, from doing trivia and sentence sequencing, to story writing and creating a mural based on their favorite book.

In addition, students will be asked to put down their textbooks and pick up a good book at different times throughout the day.

"You like drop everything and read," said Elizabeth Luke, who likes to read because it's fun. "You learn about the different places in the world."

Luke's fifth-grade classmate, Alivia Rowley, said she likes to read because she can "learn how to pronounce words and spell them."

During the ceremony, District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard told students he was proud of them for working on their reading skills.

The ceremony also included comments from Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh.

"Reading is important because it's the one skill you will use the rest of your lives," Oberloh said. "It's a life-long skill that you need and you can't get anywhere without it."

At the end of the month, the school will host a celebration and honor each of the students with a medal.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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