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WRMS students celebrate literature during Read Across America week

Winnisquam Regional Middle School's Special Education teacher Liz Plummer got into the spirit of Dr. Seuss with her students Kristina and Dylan as they celebrated not only Read Across America week, but Dr. Seuss' March 2 birthday as well. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
March 16, 2017
TILTON — Students at Winnisquam Regional Middle School celebrated the wonders of literature in all genres last week as they took part in the nationwide "Read Across America" program.

From trivia contests to door decorating, costumes and even a "Cake Walk" on Friday, all things were "literally" about the students' favorite reads.

This year marked the 20th Anniversary of "Read Across America" and librarian Jackie Chapley went all out to promote reading at WRMS this year, including a special half hour, school-wide reading time on Tuesday afternoon.

Throughout the week, trivia contests were held for both teachers and students, and winners received special pillows she handmade for their literary knowledge.

Another weeklong activity was a door decorating competition. From J.K Rowling to Roald Dahl, James Dashner to Kate DiCamillo, authors of all genres were acknowledged by student art and creativity.

Adding to the fun were teachers who dressed as their favorite literary characters last Friday.

Special Education teacher Liz Plummer had a great week with her seventh grade students, Kristina and Dylan, who also celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday this month. When asked why Dr. Seuss was their focus, Plummer said it was her favorite author and the students really enjoyed reading a number of his classics.

"We even had a cake today with the Cat in the Hat on it," said Kristina.

While Plummer and her class continued the Dr. Seuss theme on to their door decorations, down the hall there were many more books to celebrate.

This year's Read Across America theme was "Books That Inspire Our Inner Adventurer," and students at WRMS reached out for adventures in literature that paid tribute to that challenge.

Seuss's "Oh the Places You'll Go," "Horton Hears a Who," "13 Planets" and Marilea Gleason's class decorations for "Where the Wild Things Are" were just a few of the examples.

Seventh grade Life Science teacher Alex Saltmarsh said his "Curious George" decorations were a real work of art that was developed entirely by his class.

"Some of my students drew all of this freehand and did a really terrific job," he said, exhibiting Curious George and all of his literary friends on his classroom door.

Maria Simoes's class opted for Harry Potter, and as a big Harry Potter fan herself, she even jumped into the fun on Friday by dressing as a character from the series.

"We talked about what we would do for a door decoration and decided on the elements of the final chapter of 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,'" said Simoes.

Some classes decided to be more general in their love for literature, with students each pitching in with titles of their favorite books to decorate their door.

There was also A "READ Box" spinoff on "Red Box," encouraging students to find a recommended book and just enjoy it.

Teacher Cennanne Sanders' sixth grade English class however, didn't think a door was big enough to celebrate their favorite book, "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane."

Based on the journeys of a porcelain rabbit named Edward Tulane, whose owner lost him at one point in her life, they not only decorated their door, but displayed Edward's storied travels before he miraculously made his way back home. His adventures were portrayed all along the wall outside their classroom through the students' art.

As many teachers dressed up as their favorite literary characters last Friday, Chapley herself dressed as not only Little Red Riding Hood but combined her clever costume to include Grandma and the Big Bad Wolf as well.

"I bet I'm the only one to dress up as three story characters," she said. "It's been a really great week and I was so glad to see so many teachers and classes participating in Read Across America."

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