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Ohio Street Elementary School celebrates literacy with zoo animals and reading

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The birthday of Dr. Seuss was celebrated by schools across the country this week through a campaign called Read Across America.

Ohio Street Elementary School concluded a week of reading fun Friday with Literacy Night.

The event, hosted by the Parent-Teacher Association, included presentations by zookeepers from the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park and guest readers.

The event began with live animal demonstrations, followed by guest readers, including Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell.

Read Across America is a time to honor the legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss.

Read Across America celebrates the author’s March 2 birthday with countless Americans reading not just his books, but all sorts of books where the imagination flies from the pages like a bird and heroes win the day.

Ohio Elementary School PTA Secretary Stacy A. Neddo said the Friday night celebration was the culmination of a week of reading challenges.

The event was divided into three groups: prekindergarten and kindergarten students, first- and second-graders and third-graders.

“We are going to choose books about the animals that come from the zoo,” Mrs. Neddo said earlier this week.

“They could bring the turtles, hedgehogs and boa constrictors,” she said. “The zoo has been coming for about four or five years for this, and the kids really love it.”

Mrs. Neddo said the guest readers included Mrs. Russell, Ashley J. Pickett, children’s librarian at Flower Memorial Library, and others.

“It’s a really good group of volunteers that put this together,” Mrs. Neddo said.

The read-along event was the finale of a weeklong challenge for students at the school.

Principal Mark L. Taylor posed a challenge to the students to encourage reading, not only in required class time. “The student who reads the most and meets the five challenges will get a party,” Mrs. Neddo said. “Mr. Taylor is trying to inspire them to read, and read often.”

The challenge was for students to read to a friend, to an adult, to a staff member, during recess and in a grade-specific challenge given by each teacher.

Mr. Taylor said each day classes got points for the number of students who wore the color of the day and who completed the challenges.

At the end of the week, the winning class got to have lunch with the principal.

“The kids really have fun with this and so do the staff,” Mr. Taylor said.



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