Friday September 19, 2014


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Brookdale School piggybacks Olympics to promote reading

Brookdale School

February is a month-long Reading Olympics at Brookdale School, with students challenged to read as many books as possible, and the school inviting in community and 'celebrity' readers into the school. Pictured, The Neepawa Press editor Kaiten Critchlow narrates “The Berenstein Bears Get in a Fight” with students, from left, Hailey Dennis (Momma Bear),Ty Loewen (Papa Bear), Jo-Anne Simon (Sister Bear) and Jordan McKee (Brother Bear) reading their respective character roles.

Community readers and an Olympic-themed challenge have students in Brookdale School diving into books this month.

As part of February being I Love to Read Month, students in Brookdale are currently engaged in a Reading Olympics, which aims to encourage students to spend more time with a book in hand.

“Students have been reading books each night and recording their books on flags from around the world,” principal Denise Selewich explained. “We are trying to have 100 countries represented by our reading.”

By the end of the month, students will be eligible to win medals for books they read.

As part of the initiative, the school has also been welcoming community members and local 'celebrities'  to read their personal favourite children's books to the students, as well as explain why reading is important in their occupation.

Among those reading are teachers, as well as radio announcers from three Brandon stations and newspaper editors from a Neepawa and Carberry newspaper.

“We want to show the importance of reading for pleasure, as well as for professional purposes,” Selewich said. “Readers have shared why reading is important to them. Kids love seeing and hearing why the books are favourites of others."

The principal added the students are also finding it interesting how different readers are presenting their books differently.

“It has been very interesting to see how people read books. The radio personalities use such expression. The newspaper editor was so interactive with the students.”

The whole initiative will culminate with a wrap up activity focussing on another important part of reading – retention.

The school's 21 students will be paired up and asked questions based on books they've heard over the month from the special readers. They will then work toward gold, silver or bronze medals by answering questions “within, beyond and about the text”.

“Reading is one aspect, but the literal, inferential and critical thinking is another aspect of this project,” Selewich said. “We are opening whole new worlds with every book we read.”


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