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Nevada Reading Week inspires children to pick up a good book

Teachers dressed up like the Cat in the Hat and readers wearing wizard hats were par for the course during Nevada Reading Week in the Nye County School District.

The district’s 3,000 students celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Nevada Reading Week last week with readers from all walks of life reading to students.

According to the school district, in 1987, the Nevada Department of Education began a statewide initiative for Nevada teachers and librarians to celebrate reading through shared thematic activities. Nevada Reading Week usually begins during the last week of February and coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Many local celebrities, parents and community members participate in the festivities by telling stories and reading to the students. The theme for 2015-16 is “Read, Explore and Discover.”

Sixth-grade math teacher Terri Hee of Rosemary Clarke Middle school participated in the festivities. She said even in math students need to read.

“Reading week allowed the students to see not only the importance of reading, but also allowed them to enjoy and apply what was read to their scholastic interests,” Hee said. “I think it is important to build a love of reading in all of our students. Reading is in everything an individual does. If I can get just one student to embrace reading, then I feel that I am helping them to succeed in their future.”

The middle school had differently-themed days. Teachers came to school in pajamas one day and goofy hats the next. Hee had 24 readers read to her classes and there were anywhere from 30-90 students at any given time.

“We had a very diverse group come into the classroom,” she said. “We had mixed martial arts fighter Andrew Gonzales, author Alisa Rose (she also teaches sixth-grade social studies at RCMS), and even the publisher of the Pahrump Valley Times, Noah Cusick, in my classroom.”

Hee said even Superintendent Dale Norton was invited and read to 90 students.

“All the kids loved Mr. Norton,” Hee said. “They all knew what to expect from him and paid close attention.”

Floyd Elementary School was another school in the district that had a successful reading week. According to Principal Jeff Skelton, the school had over 200 participants at Dr. Seuss Literacy Night last Wednesday with the students and families enjoying activities like Hop on Pop, Cat in the Hat and even Lorax cookies.

During the week he said the school also had a variety of guest readers, ranging from superintendent and district workers to community business people and parents. They included Dale Norton, Joe Gent, Jeff Skelton, Jeanette Forrey, Brian Norton, Shirley Jones, Christina Nalen, Carina Roman, Stepan Furman and Katie Goodman.

The principal was pleased with the efforts put out by the staff and all the readers.

“The students and staff showed their spirit throughout the week by wearing silly hats, dressing up as Dr. Seuss characters, and dressed for success,” he said.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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