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Chisago Lakes Baptist School kids read a whopping 89,928 minutes outside of school during three weeks in January and happily wore pajamas in celebration of “I Love to Read” month. Top row (from left) Michael Elliott, school administrator, Kennedy Antoine, Ellie Lee, Franklin Jewson, Lincoln Jewson, and Joanne Miller, CLBS librarian. Front row (from left) Thea Peterson, Henry Manske, Otto Burmeister, Ava Burmeister and Lydia Brink. Not pictured is Willa Reemtsma.

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Students of Chisago Lakes Baptist School proved that reading can be lots of fun! The elementary school’s “I Love to Read” month began Jan. 6. The morning began with a magic show called “Reading Magic,” presented by local professional magician, Norm Barnhart. Several students were invited to help with the tricks, and all were amazed as Norm performed and shared that magic can be learned from books!

The Sugar Creek Gang books, by Paul Hutchens were the school read alouds. Daily prizes were awarded to the first student who found a small alligator that was hidden throughout the school. For 10 minutes each day, students were invited to “stop, drop, and read.” Occasionally a mystery reader read a selection from a well- known book over the loudspeaker. Seventy-eight kids received a bookmark for reading at least 200 minutes. Each week, the names of children who returned their reading logs were put into a drawing for one of over 93 books that were given away.

Students read 89,928 minutes outside of class, surpassing the school goal of 60,000 minutes in just three weeks. This year, kids from four homeschooled families joined the Read-a-thon. On Friday, Jan. 31, these eager readers were rewarded with a Pajama Day celebration, which included watching the Sugar Creek Gang movie, “The Great Canoe Fish,” while enjoying popcorn and pop.

The top two readers in the school tied for first place, each reading over 5,400 minutes during the three week contest.

Ellie Lee, 6th grade, received a new 2020 Guinness Book of World Records, while Franklin Jewson, 5th grade, won a graphic Adventure Bible for their first place accomplishments. Second place went to Kennedy Antoine, 4th grade, reading 4500 minutes and third place went to Lincoln Jewson, 4119 minutes, who both chose a new book. Top readers for each grade level were: Thea Peterson and Willa Reemtsma (tied) K4 preschool, Otto Burmeister, kindergarten; Henry Manske, 1st grade; Lydia Brink and Ava Burmeister (tied), 2nd grade; Lincoln Jewson, 3rd grade; Kennedy Antoine, 4th grade; Franklin Jewson, 5th grade; and Ellie Lee, 6th grade. Top readers received a new book, a balloon and an award.

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