Leggee's Bookworm Bunch Canpaign Encourages Elementary Students to Become Lifelong Residents

By Garmoe, Patrick | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 20, 2001 | Go to article overview

Leggee's Bookworm Bunch Canpaign Encourages Elementary Students to Become Lifelong Residents


Garmoe, Patrick, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Patrick Garmoe Daily Herald Staff Writer

Students from Leggee Elementary can read books in school; they can read them by the pool.

They can read them in class; they can read them while trying to catch bass.

They can read them with buddies; they can read them while feeding bunnies.

They can read them every day, especially since a new reading initiative at Leggee is here to stay.

An effort to kickoff a new reading campaign got underway at the school on International Literacy Day, celebrated here Sept. 7.

"It went well," said Gina Di Palermo, a reading specialist.

To prove how well, she said children in one second-grade class listened so intently to a story a teacher read that they did not even realize there was a photographer snapping pictures of them.

"I don't think they even knew he was in there," she said, which is about as big a feat as a person reaching into a bee hive and scooping out honey without getting stung.

Instead of breaking out cake and ice cream, party hats and noisemakers to celebrate the increased emphasis on reading, the nearly 900 kids broke out books.

And began to read.

Across the school, kindergarten students through fourth grade spent the day reading.

Teachers read aloud to classes, older children read to younger children, and some kids read books together.

But the day wasn't just about words either.

Kids got creative.

Music and art teachers did projects tied with reading, like making bookmarks.

The effort goes far beyond encouraging reading for a single day.

The initiatives will proceed indefinitely, with the goal of building a community of literacy, Di Palermo said.

But kids won't just be reading books in this increased literary effort.

Some will become authors themselves, with volunteer parents binding the stories into books.

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