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Reading, recreation meld at Columbia’s Camp Read S’more

MADISON – Teachers melded reading with recreation to create an outdoors feel for Read Across America Week at Columbia Elementary School.

Read Across America, an annual motivation and awareness program, encourages all children across the country to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.

For a family experience, fourth-grade teacher Alyson Durrett and third-grade teacher Karen Jump conceived “Camp Read S’more,” a pun for ‘outdoor’ reading while making the campfire treat, s’mores.

“We wanted a fun, family reading night centered around a camping theme,” Jump said. “We had s’mores in bags, book worms (gummy worms) and hot chocolate for families to enjoy together to make the experience more authentic.”

Younger siblings also attended. Families snacked, read aloud and listened together on Feb. 25.

Inflatable ‘campfires,’ along with a large campfire with lifelike sounds, played and crackled from a project in the cafeteria. The reading selection for families ranged from pre-kindergarten picture books to chapter books for grades 4 and 5.

Teachers purchased books for a giveaway. “We wanted (various) levels, characters and types of books so students could choose one they would enjoy the most,” Jump said.

Ted’s Bar-B-Q and Chick-fil-A in Madison donated food coupons. If students were ‘caught reading,’ they received a prize from a local business.

Numerous Columbia teachers donated items for Camp Read S’more and conducted activities throughout Read Across America Week.

Music teacher Audra Loftin led students in playing bells and percussion shakers, along with singing campfire songs. Second-grade teacher Renee Graham, Rainbow PTA officer Beth Crocker and Eileen Drummond with Madison Public Library read books aloud.

Jessica Clements, a senior at Bob Jones High School, led students on a ‘bear hunt’ in her campsite’s tent by acting out “Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen. Bob Jones volleyball players read/rapped Dr. Seuss’ “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”

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