Evergreen students pick up new books in annual program

December 11, 2013 

Another impressive “Reading is FUNdamental” day at Evergreen Elementary last month was called “Rope a Good Book.”

I’ve said it before: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, even the Great Pumpkin, wouldn’t be noticed by these kids as they move into the school library toward tables covered with books.

Each child picks one of their very own.

Several volunteers were on hand to handle the logistics of the operation, but, most importantly, they sat with youngsters and read with them from their newly acquired treasures.

“I did not know what to expect from my first RIF day at Evergreen, especially one with a cowboy theme of ‘Rope a Good Book,’ ” Evergreen Principal Hugh Maxwell said. “I saw kids, parents, volunteers and staff getting into the theme to make it a very special day.

“What impressed me the most was the time and hard work that parents, volunteers and staff put into making this a great day for the kids,” Maxwell said. “The message of the importance of reading was clear when you saw the volunteer readers working with students. Besides, how often do you get to be called ‘Marshall’ all day long while kids rope books to keep as their own? Yee-haw partner!”

Kindergartner Eamon Glasscock said RIF meant students got to show cowboy spirit and get a book.

Maddie Charpentier got a new book and said, “We don’t have to bring it back, and we got to put our name in it.”

Classmate Zoe Blackburn likes to read books, and Kaitlyn Dewitt said RIF “means you like reading.”

“RIF means lots of decorations, and you get a book for free,” first-grader Becky Lynn King said.

Classmate Nick Bacon added: “The library looks really good, and you get free books.”

“I feel happy to get a book of my own,” first-grader Matti Murdoch said.

Rylee Coggin said the event means the kids get to have fun and pick out books.

To second-grader Garynne Glasslock, “RIF means to read more often, and to learn more about reading.”

Classmate Bobby Mack-Ward added his own thoughts: “When you get interested in the book, you can think what will happen.”

Third-graders Ally Frederickson, Emma Lindhartsen, and William Allen also enjoyed the event.

Profoundly, to classmate Mabel Bocanegra, “RIF means they care about us.”

Fourth-grader Sierra Burgess said the event is a privilege for kids who might not be able to afford new books to be able to take one home.

“I am lucky to get a free book, to read it, keep it, and love it,” classmate McKayla Nichols added.

Austin Dewitt liked the different themes and decorations, and Cassie Smith loves to pick out a new book to read.

“RIF means reading a good book, having fun and getting a brand new book is awesome,” fifth-grader Irish McClendon said.

Or maybe it can get students out of trouble.

“RIF means when you’re grounded, or it’s raining out, you can read your RIF book,” To classmate Caleb Tweet said.

A little known feature of the program is that it has long been supported with the warm bodies of reading mentors at each RIF day by members of the Key Peninsula Veterans, the organization that annually stages the formidably heart-rending Aisle of Honor at Vaughn Cemetery. The event displays more than 200 flags from the interment ceremonies of our veterans all the way back to the American revolution.

This fine group is not known for blowing its own horn. Many thanks, veterans!

Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at hmcmnp1000@ centurytel.net.

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