Moosup elementary students march into reading
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Moosup - posted Tue., Jun. 14, 2011
Students from the Moosup Elementary School marched into the neighborhood on June 10 dressed as their favorite book characters. It was the second annual march for the students and it kicked off the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge.
“Reading is integrated with everything,” said Principal Anne Hogsten, dressed as Fancy Nancy with a pink feather boa and tiara in her hair. “I tell my students that they should practice something every day so they can get better at it. That includes reading.”
The idea behind the march is to let students show their enthusiasm for the books they love. They showcase the books with their costumes and carry copies of the book as they march. Hogsten hopes that students will see books that interest them and check them out of the library over the summer.
The drum line from Plainfield High School led students in the march to Sunny Acres, a retirement community two blocks away. With a police escort and a fire engine riding flank, many of the school’s 425 students marched in front of parents and neighbors who gathered along the streets to watch.
Sydney Cleaveland, dressed as Skippy Jon Jones, Victoria Nadeau, dressed as Cleopatra, and Nastasia Torres, dressed as an airy fairy, held the Moosup Elementary School banner. Behind them came Captain Underpants, Junie B. Jones and Cat in the Hat. Thing One and Clifford the Big Red Dog followed. There were cowboys and cowgirls, ballerinas and Army men, Dalmatians and bad kitties. In and out of Sunny Acres they marched. Up and down the street they went, holding their books aloft. The students had a chance to see each other dressed in costumes and holding favorite books.
Substitute teacher Nathan Ferrance thought it was a great way to get students excited about reading. Ferrance was dressed as a Roman from the Magic Treehouse book series. He wore a white tunic with deep red fabric draped over his shoulders. A gold leaf wreath lay on his head. “The kids get to see that teachers read and care, too,” he said. “It’s not just about education, it’s about reading. And it gets kids out into the community.”