HULL – Superintendent Judith Kuehn, Principal Christine Cappadona and the Hull PTO are pleased to share that students at the Lillian M. Jacobs Elementary School participated in the school’s 19th annual Read-a-Thon event this month.
The Read-A-Thon kicked off on March 7, with a virtual assembly led by Assistant Principal Kyle Shaw.
The Read-a-Thon officially started that afternoon and ended on Sunday, March 13. Students were provided with reading logs to track the number of minutes they read during the event, as well as a PTO fundraising log.
Students were given awards for the top readers and fundraisers. The schools Reading Pirate motivated students to complete the school-wide reading goal of 200,000 minutes by promising a “stunt” pulled on the principals if the goal was met.
The Jacobs School incorporated its theme of kindness for the school year into the Read-A-Thon. It was announced to students in January that the Reading Pirate was “stuck” in the Bahamas and would only be able to get to the Read-A-Thon through acts of kindness. Students submitted acts of kindness to send to the pirate through Pirate Pamphlets and achieved a goal of 1,000 acts of kindness by March.
“The Reading Pirate is famous at the Jacobs School for encouraging kids to read and teaching them to love books and learning,” Assistant Principal Shaw said. “Every year, he anchors his ship at the school and comes ashore to catch students reading. However, this year, the Reading Pirate was able to help students achieve acts of kindness in the community as well.”
Every student in the school was tasked with a personal reading goal based on their grade level. These included 200 minutes for Pre-K, 250 minutes for kindergarten, 500 minutes for grades 1 and 2, and 750 minutes for grades 3, 4 and 5. Students who reached their goal earned a piece of treasure from the Reading Pirate’s treasure chest. Each classroom was also tasked with a class-wide reading goal.
Clues were provided by the Reading Pirate in rolled up parchment paper when each individual classroom reached a quarterly mark. The clue provided a hint as to what the Reading Pirate’s stunt on the principals would be. All classrooms submitted their guess of the stunt prior to the wrap up assembly. Every class that guessed correctly was entered into a raffle for a gym game.
As part of the event students received a Read-a-Thon pledge sheet to bring home to begin collecting pledges. Students were encouraged to get pledges from relatives and neighbors. This year the Jacobs School raised a record amount of $20,501 from the event and read a total of 247,195 minutes.
As part of this year’s Read-a-Thon students and staff dressed in various pirate and literacy themed outfits daily.
“Each year, students are so excited to read during the Read-a-Thon event and this year was no different,” Principal Cappadona said. “It’s wonderful to see kids in every grade get so invested in reading and have fun doing it. It sets them up to be lifelong lovers of literacy, which is terrific.”
The Read-A-Thon wrapped up with an assembly where Principal Cappadona and Assistant Principal Shaw completed stunts. Principal Cappadona was “silly stringed” by Assistant Principal Shaw, and Principal Cappadona created an ice cream sundae complete with whipped cream and sprinkles on Assistant Principal Shaw’s head. The two principals finished the stunts by eating fish eggs.
The assembly concluded with messages of thanks to school PTO members, including Amy Hyde and Deborah Irby, who worked to organize the event.
“The Hull PTO is proud of the hard-working readers and fundraisers from the Jacobs Elementary School,” Hyde said. “Even though it is our biggest annual fundraiser, this year we wanted to focus on the fun of reading while creating school spirit, and it ended up being a huge success.”