Sit Together and Read Night caps a monthlong reading marathon

lpemberton@theolympian.comMarch 3, 2013 

Roosevelt Elementary School third-grader Mayalin Edwards spent about 2,400 minutes – or 40 hours – of non-school time last month with her nose in a book.

She read to her sister and brother. She read to her grandma, Elena Perez.

“I spent a lot of time reading after bedtime because I had permission to read and not watch TV,” Edwards said.

She and her grandma were among nearly 350 people who turned out for the pinnacle of the northeast Olympia school’s monthlong literacy push: The annual Sit Together and Read (STAR) Night. The event featured several activities, including bookmark making, free books and stories told by celebrity readers such as superintendent Dick Cvitanich and Roosevelt retirees Sue and Dan Holder.

Principal Domenico Spatola-Knoll said STAR Night is a tradition that has taken place at Roosevelt for more than a decade. It was one of several literacy efforts at the school during the month of February were designed to get kids fired up about books.

Students also participated in an all-school read-in, a special event at a local bookstore and a monthlong readathon.

“I hope the joy of reading continues to grow and they look toward reading as a valuable form of learning and entertainment,” Spatola-Knoll said.

Spatola-Knoll said kids at the school logged in “tens of thousands” of minutes for the readathon, a fundraiser for the PTA.

“Kids are reading all the time,” he said.

Students can turn in their logs through Wednesday, and the final amount will be announced Thursday during an assignment.

Last year’s readathon raised about $15,000, said fourth-grade teacher Sarah Adderley.

She said this year’s event might raise more money or involve more minutes because students are vying for some great prizes, such as Nook tablets.

“I know a couple of kids in my class that have been reading two or three hours a night,” Adderley said. “It’s been pretty incredible.”

Edwards earned about $75 in pledges for the readathon. But for her, the experience was more about enjoying some great reads, including “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Captain Underpants.”

Perez said she’s enjoyed watching her granddaughter read more than ever, and she hopes that energy and love for books will continue to grow.

“I think it’s awesome,” Perez said.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433

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