“Riding through a Winter Reading Wonderland” was quite a hit amongst the third, fourth and fifth graders who got to caravan through specially built sets filled with lights, while seeing some of their teachers dressed in winter character costumes to help illustrate their favorite books.
School staff portrayed everything from a snowman to a reindeer to a gingerbread cookie to elves. The main attraction was Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, who were visiting from the North Pole, seated at the main entrance of the school. The staff even greeted the motorists on a giant portable movie screen (check out the video on the school website to view) positioned on Cave Street, as they entered the magical drive filled with oversized decorations, colorful lights and specially designed book scenes.
“It was Jill Frogge’s idea, wanting to do something special for our students before Christmas break,” noted Monticello Elementary Principal Virginia Cares. “Of course, I loved the idea and was on board immediately.”
“Many of the staff at Monticello Elementary had expressed our sadness over the fact that students were not getting to experience our traditional Christmas celebrations. Those sentiments combined with some funding from our Striving to Read grant from last year prompted the idea to have a drive-through literacy event tied to Christmas and winter fun,” explained Counselor Jill Frogge.
The literacy committee chose to feature two popular winter-time books – Snowmen at Night and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown. Art Teacher Samantha Cummings graciously painted the two book covers to be on display while characters from each book came to life. Librarian Tracy Slagle dressed-up as the main character, Greg, in The Meltdown while Teacher Julie Pyles dressed-up as one of the snowmen from Snowmen at Night.
Each child that participated received a nice goodie bag filled with treats such as a book, bookmark, pencil, Christmas ornament craft along with a variety of other treats. The literacy committee chose an assortment of books from the I Survived, The Bailey School Kids and Who Would Win series, The One and Only Ivan, and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow – just to name a few.
Reading is certainly alive for the elementary students as students learn in a virtual world. Media Specialist Tracy Slagle explained that students are utilizing the online book subscription EPIC during the pandemic. Students are able to choose books on their reading level and then take the reading quiz on the Accelerated Reader (AR) website. As she skimmed through her AR file she said, “We have a third grader, Raegan Jones with 72.5 AR points. We have three fourth graders with impressive AR points: Alissa Buday with 107.4, Faith Vibbert with an amazing 314.5 points, and Harley Troxell with 102 points.
“COVID has brought about some new challenges, but our students are adapting and continuing to be successful at improving their reading skills,” noted Slagle.
One of their top choices to check out at the library is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which was part of the library’s display at the drive-through.
“Our hopes are that students know that even though school is not as it usually is, we haven’t forgotten them,” said Frogge. “All of us at Monticello Elementary miss our students and wish them a very Merry Christmas!”
Various holiday scenes with book themes entertained the students in the caravan of cars
Teachers make holiday magic happen for students
Polar Express on the facade of the school building
Principal Virginia Cares and Counselor Jill Frogge greet cars at the front of the line
Teacher Gail Dishman warms her hands in the fire
Winter Wonderland Scene
Counselor Jill Frogge shakes hands with Frosty the Snowman
Some of the spectators enjoyed a winter's nap
Teacher Julie Pyles coordinated her costume with the book Snowmen at Night
Student wearing her reindeer antlers
Kids were excited to see the visitors from the North Pole
Mrs.Claus and Santa waved to students
Cozy in the back seat of the car enjoying the colored lights
Elf Panesia Humble handed out reading packets
Teacher Jamie Tipton and her family enjoyed the festivities
Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Meltdown is a favorite book of the students
Riding in the parade of cars
Cozy scene along the route
Just received a book packet
Tickled to be in attendance
Carol Wells showed off her photography skills on the big screen welcoming motorists
Monticello Staff enjoyed the special event as much as the children
A giant Santa waved goodbye to the students