By Tamas Mondovics

For the last time and for the third consecutive year, Spoto High School students and teachers will welcome hundreds of second grade students from area Title I schools for a day of fun activities and a reading celebration.

Spoto High School reading teacher and the sponsor of the Spartan Reading Squad Club, Bisa Philips was proud of the program and its annual success as she emphasized that the event continues to promote literacy and the joy of reading throughout the area Title I elementary schools.

“Designed to run in perpetuity, this program has been very successful in building partnerships with neighboring schools and allowing our student body to truly come together and shine,” Philips said adding that unfortunately, it is last year for this program at the school. “I really feel like my students are and have been working very hard to end this program gracefully.”

Philips emphasized that the event has been a special part of her and her students lives  as it allows everyone to see them in an entirely positive light.

“They don’t get enough of that, and they should,” she said.

To host the final event, the Spartan Reading Squad, sporting volunteers from numerous other extracurricular clubs and organizations, will once welcome about 350 students from Clair Mel, Frost, and Ippolito elementary schools to campus on Friday, March 1.

The festival will offer the second-graders a chance to meet and mingle with high school students, teachers and administrators as they spend the morning at the school football stadium, participating in a rotation of reading exercises and activities.

Following lunch, the students will be treated to a read-aloud, done by Spoto Principal, Phillip Carr, completion of an accompanying activity book, and the recitation of the “Read Across America” pledge.

A raffle, where two students from each visiting class will win a backpack filled with school supplies, will complete the event.

Upon leaving, each visiting child will receive a gift bag and a book to take home.

The literacy festival is the culmination of a year-long service learning project conducted by the Spartan Reading Squad.

The project has been funded by the remains a $2,000 early literacy grant from Target, and through the fundraising efforts of the members of the Spartan Reading Squad.


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