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It's March Reading Madness at Vernon

March Madness may be about basketball, but at James H. Vernon School it’s all about reading! Students are “mad” about some new and exciting reading competitions that are sparking their creativity and imaginations while boosting their reading skills.


Making a grand debut this year is Vernon’s Masked Reader Competition!  Throughout the month, teachers are sharing with their students a slideshow of 16 masked readers, which consist of individuals in the building. Students are encouraged to look for clues on the slides, such as looking at the book the individual is holding or reading the speech bubble with some facts about the individual. Students are asked to work together to come to a general agreement about who they believe each masked reader is and then submit one set of answers as a class on March 26th. After the spring recess, an additional slide presentation will be sent to the classroom to reveal who the masked readers are, at which time class winners will be announced. The class on each grade level with the most correct guesses wins a prize!


“Introducing an activity that is based on a relevant and popular television show is a fun and interactive way to engage our readers while participating in a little friendly competition,” said Vernon literary coach Dr. Tracy Zambelli, who coordinated this and other March Madness Activities with Vernon library teacher Ms. Virginia Kemp and teaching assistant Ms. Elizabeth McGee. “The whole school is buzzing about it. Students are really thinking about the clues and deducing who they think these 16 masked readers are.”


In another new activity, students were given the opportunity to stretch their imaginations by participating in the Vernon Book Face Challenge. Students were asked to integrate their face or body part onto a book cover so that it looks like it belongs there. Students are working on their entries now, which must be submitted by March 26th.  Students will vote for their favorite entries in library and winners will receive a Barnes ad Nobile gift card. For more on this clever challenge, visit


“These activities were introduced to challenge our students to think ‘outside the box’ while building excitement for reading,” added Ms. Kemp. “We look forward to March 26th to see how our students respond to these competitions.”