Vernon Goes for the Gold with PARP
The 2018 Winter Olympics has been a dominant presence at James H. Vernon School! As the theme of this year’s Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) reading campaign, different activities and incentives — aimed to encourage reading and instill a lifelong love of books — kicked off last week with the tagline, “Go for the Gold….Read!”
The PTA-run event was coordinated by PARP committee chairs Jeanne Laurito and Jenefer Fernandez, who, along with parent volunteers, did an “amazing job creating excitement throughout the building,” according to Principal Dr. Valerie Vacchio. There was a giant Olympic torch in the lobby, and colorful, well-designed murals of the various sports, flags from various countries, the five Olympic rings and Olympic medals lining the hallways.
Dr. Vacchio announced the kickoff of the Reading Olympics during Opening Ceremonies that featured sixth-grade trumpeters and band teachers Mr. Augustus Devassy and Ms. Lauren Macy playing the Olympics theme song. Throughout the week, students were inspired to read by taking part in classroom and home activities. Class activities included having each class decorate their classroom door with an Olympic-inspired display, buddy reading activities in which older students read with younger students, and an Olympic Trivia game. Home activities consisted of completing an Olympic Trivia worksheet, exploring Olympic-themed books in the library, answering Olympic-themed writing prompts, and looking up Olympic-themed food and snack ideas to enjoy while watching the winter Olympics with their families. Students were also provided directions to make an Olympic rings bracelet.
During the week, third and fourth graders enjoyed an Olympic-themed Read-In with the book, Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester as well as a snack and a craft when members of the PARP Committee visited their classrooms. Fifth and sixth graders celebrated the culmination of the campaign with a craft and theme-inspired snacks. The campaign wrapped up with Closing Ceremonies and students showing their Olympic spirit by wearing Olympian-inspired clothing or colors.
This campaign is one of many ways the PARP committee celebrates reading throughout the year. The committee also hosts assemblies, author visits, book sharing and more.
In addition to PARP, the Olympics theme has been carried out in other disciplines, such as art, library and physical education. In art, students developed artwork that pictured themselves in the Olympics. Sixth-grade student Ava DeAngelis took the assignment a little further and created a drawing of the Nick Jr. character, Everest, a dog who likes to ski. In library, students learned about Olympians in history through a variety of suggested books, and in physical education, classes have been assigned a country and have been competing in modified sports that are featured in the Olympics, extending students enthusiasm and engagement in these areas of the curriculum as well.
Members of the PTA led classroom activities.
Vernon students showcase the book read during a third- and fourth-grade Read In.
Older students buddy up with younger students to read books during PARP.
Vernon sixth grader Ava DeAngelis displays her Olympic-inspired artwork.