As part of our Reading Incentive weeks, dogs from Therapy Dogs International (TDI) visited our students. We were so excited to have Daisy, Argent, and Miss Kasey visit with our Kindergarten, first and second graders. We also had Fiara visit our third, fourth, and fifth graders. The dog owners volunteer their time to TDI and take time out of their busy schedule to visit with us. I think it is fair to say that the dogs had a calming effect on our students. The dogs’ owners commented more than once how well behaved the students were and that they asked great, thoughtful questions. Having therapy dogs visit is always fun and exciting, but this year, a dog, Kona, is one of the main characters in Gooseberry Park, the book we are reading throughout our school, so it was extra special to have the dogs visit again.
TJ Connor students celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by kicking off our 3rd annual TJ Connor Reads. We started the school day off with an Assembly to get students excited and to reveal the book we will be reading as a school. The book we chose to read this year is Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant. Some of our teachers played the characters in the book, introducing themselves to the students as Kona the dog, Murray the bat, Gwendolyn the hermit crab, and Stumpy the squirrel- costumes and all! Other teachers were seen dancing and holding up book posters as we celebrated books between each character.
Each week students will read several chapters of the book with their families; students can also answer trivia questions based on the book to win prizes. We hold several unannounced Stop, Drop, and Read times during the three week celebration, so students always need to have a book with them- who knows when the next stop, drop, and read will be?
In addition to reading the book, we have therapy dogs visiting, guest reader days, pj story time, and a tv blackout night! TJ Connor Reads is an exciting time for our students and a great way to get kids excited about reading.