SILOAM — The annual Read Across Copeland event became a read across Surry County as students traveled to a variety of local businesses and shared their love of reading.
Principal Sandra Scott said she challenged them to show their passion for books by going above and beyond what they normally do as part of Read Across America. Following a month-long celebration of reading, students in kindergarten through fifth grade who read the most books or earned the most Accelerated Reading (AR) points participated in the field trip.
“We had a contest and I got 70 AR points. You get five points with most books but I was reading Harry Potter,” said fifth grader Peggy Prevette, who piled up 258 reading points. “We went to Food Lion in Dobson and Lowes and Pine Hill. I liked going to food Lion and seeing the look on people’s faces as I read to. It made me feel good.”
Fifth grader Darren Mills participated in the event out of a sheer love of reading.
“I love it (reading) normally so this was was just a thing I’d normally do,” said Mills. He said sharing a story was new to him because he typically likes reading and keeping the story to himself.
Audrey Poindexter, a fourth grade student, said she really wanted to go on the field trip so she rolled up her sleeves and “started to read a lot of books.” She said it was fun and she likes to read anyway and she wasn’t nervous about reading to adults. Poindexter said she read the book “The Blue Ribbon Day.” The students all agreed they especially enjoyed the tour of Chick-fil-A.
Kindergarten student Ava Chrismon said she had fun at the field trip and had previous experience reading to her mom and dad, Tessa and Jason Chrismon. She said she reads a lot of books and really likes the “Hungry Caterpiller” series. She said she had not been to many of the businesses the classes took turns visiting. Chrismon even took time out at the Country Cafe in Copeland to read to a group of bikers eating at the restaruant.
Cafe Operator Lisa Harris said she thought the children’s impact was awesome. She said the bikers were 12 retired individuals from Winston-Salem.
“It was a super day,” said Harris. “They said she made their day. It was a really busy day at the cafe. The children read to me out back. This was a great idea.”
Leon Hutchens, the grandfather of Copeland student Clay Whitaker, came into the cafe that day and was delighted to have an unexpected chance to sit down with his grandson and be read to. Whitaker’s grandmother, Brenda, was at her office when the students arrived.
“They took turns reading and they were so polite and well-behaved. I think they were very excited to see the technology part of the school system, too,” said Brenda Whitaker, who is also the system’s director of federal programs. “We have to get them to want to read and learn. Clay talked about this for days. It’s made him more excited about reading and made him feel better about the process.”
Students participating in the Read Across Copeland field trip visited the Surry County School Board Offices and local Dobson and Mount Airy businesses followed by a tour and lunch at Chick-fil-A. Participating businesses included Just Save, State Employee’s Credit Union, Food Lion, Capital Bank, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, Walmart, Staples, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Surry County Emergency Services, Country Cafe and Pine Hill Farm Supply.
The following students exceeding their Accelerated Reading (AR) goals and participated in the reading field trip: Kindergarten: Kylee Booker, Ava Chrismon, Dale Easter, Damen Hazelwood, Valeria Hernandez, Eli Holyfield, Trip McMillian, Alexander Villasenor and Jayden Zavala; First Grade: Jobey Beers, Luke Creed, Isaac Eller, Fatima Gonzales, Preston Graham, McKenna Merritt, Malachi Powers, Scottland Rawley and Kyndal Smith; Second Grade: Kevin Armenta, Jennifer Baltista, Landan Beverly, Kayli Grizzell, Kaylee McCraw, Melody McHone, Kylee Schendel, Aiden Smith and Jasmin Vasquez.
Third Grade: Alex Beck, Ella Dryer, Jennifer Carranza Garica, Adam Hege, Gilberto Perez Lemus, Alvin Parcel, Emily Spicer, Clay Whitaker and Christy Villasenor; Fourth Grade: Rachel Carter, Matthew Davis, Charlie Hernandez, Itzel Hernandez, Jacob Mills, Juan Cisneros Navarro, Audrey Poindexter, Karley Ramos and Pamela Rodriguez; Fifth Grade: Mario Cortes, Joan Valladares Cruz, Nouria Edwards, Adam Huffman, Peggy Prevette, Darren Mills, Gisselle Hernandez Rayo, Rut Vasconcelos and Zackary Williamson.
“Something like this gets them excited about reading,” said Scott. “They will have to be lifelong learners in our world today and that is why instilling a love of reading is important.”
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.