Throughout the month of February, students at Watertown-Mayer Elementary are celebrating I Love to Read Month. The annual event is dedicated to promoting both a love of reading and being read to through various activities. As the event is given a unique theme each year, this year’s theme is Camp Read-A-Lot. The school is dressed in camping décor, and books about outdoor adventures are given to grade levels to utilize in classrooms.
Additionally, there are weekly dress-up days, river rock painting, book readings, and a daily hunt for a Big Foot that hides around the school for the children to find. On Feb. 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., there will be a Family Night where students and their families can visit seven campsites. The campsites will include bingo, book readings, a trail-mix bar, crafts, and STEM activities. I Love to Read Month books and supplies are made possible from a generous yearly donation from Watertown-Mayer Elementary School’s PTO.
Katie Brandenburg, the driving force behind I Love to Read Month, and the elementary school’s Behavior Interventionist, speaks on the importance of the annual event. “The hope of I Love to Read Month is to support instilling a love of reading at an early age as it is the key that unlocks the door to lifelong learning. Children who value books are more motivated to read on their own and will likely continue to hold that value for the rest of their lives. Instilling a love of reading gives children opportunities to expand their vocabulary and build independence and self-confidence. It helps children learn to make sense not only of the world around them, but also people, building social-emotional skills, and of course, imagination.”
To close out the month of festivities, the elementary school will host the Hunt Off Hunger Food Drive, which will take place from Feb. 20 to March 3. The food drive is an opportunity for families to give to the Watertown Food Shelf. The Student Council will collect and count the donations, then deliver them to the food shelf at the end of the drive. The classroom that collects the most items wins a prize.
As a way to commemorate I Love to Read Month and recognize what Watertown-Mayer Elementary School’s students have accomplished throughout February, Brandenburg will be presenting an overview of the events to the school board at the Monday, Feb. 27 meeting at 6 p.m. A group of first graders will also be present and will take the opportunity to read with school board members.
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