Up, up and away!

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reading takes you places

“One, two, three, go!” shouted Kathy Kratzenberg, St. Lawrence school librarian. At that, students at the elementary school released 110 balloons into the sky Tuesday afternoon.

The balloon launch was part of Right to Read Week. The theme this year is “Reading takes us places.” Kratzenberg said the balloons each contained a slip of paper explaining the project and whose balloon it was.

“Reading takes us places — our slips of paper are going wherever the balloon takes them,” Kratzenberg said.

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The students are divided into teams this week, each team represented by a different color. The students released balloons with their team colors.

Other activities celebrating reading this week include Monday’s T-shirt parade.

“We had a contest to see who had the most words on their shirt,” said Zac McGraw, sixth grade student. Zac said his shirt had 34 words, but the winning shirt had somewhere around 700 words.

This week there will also be an airplane flight, with planes made by the students and prizes awarded to the winners.

On Friday, prizes will be awarded to students, and the winning reading team, reading the most minutes during the week, will be able to watch a movie.

Kerri Jenkins, first grade student, said she hopes her balloon makes it to New York, while fellow first graders Elijah Rowe and Hayden Bensinger hope the balloons make it to their families out of state.

Elijah, who likes to read and thinks it’s important, hopes his balloon makes it to Indiana where his cousins live. Hayden hopes his makes it to his Aunt Stephanie in Florida. Adison Philabaun, preschooler, is hoping her balloon makes it to a destination more locally.

“Actually, my mommy’s work,” Adison said. “Through her Citi-Financial door and my balloon will be with my mommy.”

Sixth-grade student Isaac Walker hopes that whoever finds the balloons will see some positive aspects of the school.

“I hope they’ll think our school is fun and not so boring,” Isaac said. He enjoys reading.

“It’s special and can take you places,” Isaac said. “It’s fun.”

Peyton Adkins, sixth-grade student, reads a little but thinks there’s room for improvement.

“We should read more,” Peyton said.

Jayda Martin and Kaylee Sheridan, both sixth-graders, have a love for reading.

“It helps you with your vocabulary,” Jayda said. “And you can get a lot of information. You can go into a world you’ve not been to.”

Kaylee said even fiction books can be educational. After reading the “Twilight” books, a town from the books was referred to in her geography class, and she knew the answer.

“I’m looking forward to seeing who has read the most,” Kaylee said.

Kratzenberg said reading is important for reasons outside of just pleasure.

“You have to read for everything,” she said. “Internet, road signs directions. It’s not just for books.”

For people who are not avid readers, Kratzenberg offers some advice.

“Your library has something for everyone,” she said. “Even if you don’t read, there’s information there. The library will help you.”