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$3,538 of books given away to students for free during Right to Read Week


Every building, every grade, and every student in Rossford Schools had one main goal from the week of May 15-19:

READ.

It was Right to Read Week in the district and local authors were brought in to speak to the students, set times were given to students during the day to read, and books were even given out to further encourage reading.

Rossford Junior High School kicked off Right to Read Week with a One Book, One Day Challenge at 7:45 a.m. Monday with an assembly to begin reading the book All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall as a school together. Students read in different ways throughout the day and finished the 234-page book together with another assembly at the end of the day.

The book, based on an after-school program at a Cleveland school, was about a group of students and math teacher who built a large tetrahedron. Students at RJHS have been working on building a tetrahedron themselves.

“The kids really seemed to enjoy the tetrahedron project,” said Shelley Bertsch who organized the events of the week. “I’ve heard about a lot of students who connected with a certain character and recognized how the author represented the characters with the tetrahedron. That says a lot about how much they comprehended it.”

On Friday the book’s author, Shelley Pearsall, came to Rossford to lead a discussion on the book and how it was written during an assembly. She finished her day in Rossford spending over an hour with the high school and junior high school book club members doing writing workshops and trying to develop characters.

The workshop was about having deep and detailed descriptions to make characters who stand out.

“Let’s say 52-year-old Steve walked through that door and into the library, describe what he would look like,” Mrs. Pearsall said leading the workshop. “We’re going to start with surface, so what people look like, and then we’ll go below the surface.”

She offered pointers to help students when they face writer's block. One trick she uses if she’s stuck on page 83 of her book she takes three books off her shelf and reads page 83 on each of the books. It helps Mrs. Pearsall unlock her mind from the story. She also said to just "take a walk and have a conversation with the character" you’ve created.

Eagle Point and Glenwood also had authors visit for assemblies on Friday.

Tuesday was also a big night as about 450 people registered for Celebrity Reading Night. Rossford High School hosted more authors, WTOL meterologist, University of Toledo football players, Officer Jodi from Rossford Police Department, local government officials, zoo animals, and a Mud Hens representative.

Through the James Patterson Foundation Grant $3,538 in free books were given away to students with vouchers at the book fair in the gym that night. It is an effort to grow student’s home libraries. There were also 52 books given out in the celebrity reading sessions, and Florida author of the Sparks series Kyle Prue gave out about 50 of his books.

Authors read books, shared personal experiences, answered questions from listeners, gave advice, and even Mr. Prue showed off his impressions.

“You can do it. You can be a lawyer and a writer, you can be a firefighter and a writer,” Columbus author Chelsea Bobulski said. “As long as your putting some words on the page every day it’ll eventually become a book; whether its 100 words a day, 1,000 words a day, or 10,000 words a day it’s going to add up.

“Chase after all your dreams.”

Mrs. Bertsch is grateful for the 60 volunteers from the district for Celebrity Reading Night, and the James Patterson Foundation to help give away books to so many students.

 
 

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