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Tag Archive | "March is Reading Month"

First Graders celebrate library card drive


First grader holds a free book from local author Amanda Litz

For March is reading month

The library’s annual campaign to get every first grader his/her own library card or access to a family card culminated in the annual “March is Reading Month Celebration” at the Kent Theatre for all of the first graders at Cedar Trails and at Creative Technologies Academy on March 4 and 5. 

Every first grader got in to see the new “Mary Poppins” movie for free, and a library card got them a free bag of popcorn. 

On hand to emphasize books and reading were representatives from the local libraries: Director Donna Clark and Youth Services Parapro Melissa Dubridge, from the Cedar Springs Public Library; Youth Librarian Sara Magnuson and Youth Parapro Bethany Metivier, from KDL-Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library; and Youth Parapro Heidi Fifield, from the KDL-Spencer Township Branch. 

Students enjoyed free popcorn with their library card.

“I love this program,” said Clark. “We’ve teamed up with our local schools, families and Kent District Library now for 22 years. It’s great to partner as an extended community to promote a lifelong love of reading.”

Magnuson agreed. “Working together on this project is one of the highlights of our year. I love getting to visit all the first graders and see how excited they get about libraries and reading. It’s a great way to get local students and their families into our libraries and encourage reading every day!”

Clark said the program would not have been a success without the enthusiastic support from Cedar Trails Principal Beth Whaley and her wonderful first grade teaching staff, Mrs. Birdsong, Mrs. Brussow, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Tiffany, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Saneford, Mrs. Bonsall, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Schmidutz, and Mrs. O’Brien. All but a couple of the teachers were able to attend and greet their first graders as they came in. Also in attendance were students from our local charter school, Creative Technologies Academy, from Mrs. Parker’s class. 

There was a good attendance, in spite of the single digit temperatures. Over the two nights of the celebration, a total of 97 first graders and 179 family members attended, for a total of 276 celebrating the first grade library card drive. 

Library cards from Cedar Springs and KDL Libraries can be used in seven counties in Michigan.

Donna:  “I love this program. We’ve teamed up with our local schools, families and Kent District Library now for 22 years.  It’s great to partner as an extended community to promote a lifelong love of reading.”

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First grade library card celebration


Kids were excited to celebrate at the Kent Theatre earlier this month. Photo by Donna Clark.

A free popcorn was part of the fun at the Kent Theatre. Photo by Donna Clark.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre on Monday, March, 5, and Tuesday, March 6, to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Paddington 2.” The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 89 first graders over the two evenings. Counting everyone who attended—students, parents, siblings, teachers, and library staff—the total came to 283 over the two evenings.

Local author Amanda Litz donated books to be handed out at the event.

The Cedar Springs Public Library started this program in 1997, and later joined with KDL to jointly administer the program since students who live in Nelson and Spencer Townships have their home library there.

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CTA Students are Olympics Learners – Read for the GOLD!


Elementary students bear their class flags at the Opening Ceremonies to kick of March is
Reading Month.

This year, to celebrate March is Reading Month, our CTA Elementary students exercised their minds as they worked to reach a building-wide goal of filling their olympic “torches.”

For every book read at home or in school, each student filled out an olympic flame and placed it on his or her grade level olympic torch. When they finish filling their olympic torches at the end of March, students will celebrate at their closing ceremonies. CTA has hosted several guest readers throughout this month in an effort to foster an enthusiastic love of books and motivate our CTA CHARGERS to be lifelong readers! CTA is on a mission to CHANGE THE WORLD as Olympic Readers!

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Kids who wrote “April’s Baby” book get surprise


These Beach Elementary students wrote the book “April’s Baby” in Vicki Burke’s art class last spring. Courtesy photo

By Judy Reed

Earlier this year, second and third grade students at Beach Elementary School in Cedar Springs celebrated March is Reading Month by illustrating and publishing a book about the internet sensation, April the Giraffe. They will now get something in return.

Thirty-one students, affectionately dubbed “Team April,” volunteered their drawing talents for a short story titled “April’s Baby,” which Vicki Burke, Beach Elementary art teacher,  penned and graphically designed. The book has received rave reviews on Amazon, and Burke has received positive feedback from people she meets in person as well.

“What started as a simple art project exploded into so much more,” remarked Vicki Burke, at the Cedar Springs Board of Education meeting Monday evening, Sept. 11. She said that the book taught the children about art, literacy, giraffe conservation, and more. When it was finished, it went on Amazon.

This summer, Burke went to New York to see the giraffes. But it was bittersweet, because she felt like she wanted the kids to see the giraffes, too. So, while they cannot take a field trip to see April and her baby, a couple people and businesses worked together to make something happen closer to home.

Transportation supervisor Jerry Gavin, who now works with Dean Transportation, said they are willing to donate one school bus and one school bus driver free of charge to take the kids to Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto, to see the giraffes. And Ryanne Donahue, with the new State Farm office on Main Street here in Cedar Springs, said she will donate admission for the students and chaperones and also enough for them to feed the giraffes as well. The announcement was made at the school board meeting.

The children who were there were all smiles, and seemed excited by the news.

There is no word yet on when the trip might happen.

To purchase the book, go to www.amazon.com and search for “April’s Baby.”

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Just Keep Reading, Just Keep Reading!


Kindergarten and second grade students are excited to read with Red Flannel Festival Royalty!

Kindergarten and second grade students are excited to read with Red Flannel Festival Royalty!

This year, to celebrate Reading Month our CTA Elementary students read their tails off as they filled our Reading Fish Tank!

Elementary students sit in front of their “Fish Tank” on the wall that they filled with books they read.

Elementary students sit in front of their “Fish Tank” on the wall that they filled with books they read.

For every book read (or chapter if it was a chapter book) AT HOME or IN SCHOOL, students cut out a colored fish and hung it up on the fish bowl. CTA Elementary filled the fish tank in two weeks – that is a lot of reading. To celebrate, they watched Finding Dory and ate ocean-themed snacks with their reading buddies.

The Red Flannel Festival Queen and court also made time to visit CTA and read to the kindergarten and second grade students. The queen read one of her favorite books and then took time to answer questions from the students.

CONGRATULATIONS CTA on another successful March is Reading Month!!!

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Celebrating 20 Years of First Grade Readers


CSPS-Library-Event

CSPS-Library-night-teachers-CTDonna Clark, Cedar Springs Library

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre, to celebrate “March is Reading Month.”  The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.”   Invitations were for March 6 and 7 at 6pm.   The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings.  Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

2017 marked “20 years of celebrating first grade readers”  since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark,  sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest”, all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were there both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township brought several items for first graders to take home, as well.

Cedar Springs first grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz, welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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March is Reading Month


Reading Rocks at Cedar Trails

Reading Rocks at Cedar Trails

Reading Rocks at Cedar Trails

Beach Literacy Night was held on March 10 at the Middle School.

Beach Literacy Night was held on March 10 at the Middle School.

March is Reading Month and the PTO provided a special assembly called Reading Rocks. The kids had so much fun singing and dancing and being challenged to read more and more.

What a wonderful group of parent volunteers. The PTO from Cedar Trails has purchased an additional chromebook cart containing 36 mobile chromebooks, mice and headphones. Our students love them. Thank you for caring so much about their education.  Cedar Trails PTO is the best!!!

Board of Education member, Vanderhyde, was a guest reader at Red Hawk during March is Reading Month.

Board of Education member, Shannon Vanderhyde, was a guest reader at Red Hawk during March is Reading Month.

Assistant Superintendent, Jo Spry, was a guest reader during March is Reading Month.

Assistant Superintendent, Jo Spry, was a guest reader during March is Reading Month.

Board of Education member, Bayink, reads to students at Red Hawk during March is Reading Month.

Board of Education member, Michelle Bayink, reads to students at Red Hawk during March is Reading Month.

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First grade library card celebration


Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre last week to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.” Invitations were for Monday and Tuesday nights,  6 pm on March 6 and 7. The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings. Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

This year marked 20 years of celebrating first grade readers since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest,” all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were on hand both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township/Sand Lake, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township, brought several items for first graders to take home as well.

First grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz all welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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March Reading Madness


Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor stopped by Creative Technologies Academy for a visit the morning of March 13 and read to the kindergarten, first, and second grade students. He read Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane. Senator MacGregor discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books with the young students and encouraged them to read with their peers, siblings, and adults. He made sure to allow time to answer the many questions the students had, such as: How did you get elected? Who’s your boss? What do you like to read? What’s your favorite color?

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Ferris State University’s women’s basketball Coach, Kendra Faustin, and Assistant Coach, Sharonda Hurd, brought a few of their players to the CTA elementary in order to spend time reading with students during March is Reading Month. The coaches and players also visited with the middle and high school students in an assembly to share powerful lessons about the importance of personal responsibility and accountability in everyday life.

CTA’s middle school students were visited by the Grace Bible College Tigers basketball team. The students watched a video, produced by MAPSA and Buddy Morehouse, about the story of Curtis Jones. Jones was widely considered the greatest basketball talent ever to come out of the city of Detroit, but his dreams died and his life spiraled downward because he couldn’t read and write. After viewing the video, team members led small group discussions with CTA students about lessons to be learned from Curtis Jones, specifically, about the importance of getting the best education possible.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

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