Saturday, February 29, 2020

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” — Dr. Seuss

If you had stopped in to TCA on a recent Friday, you would certainly have seen some magic happening. Along with backpacks and jackets, students were carrying in sleeping bags, blankets, stuffed animals and extra books. They weren’t planning a sleepover, and thankfully, our building is warm so the extra blankets weren’t for that. Instead, they were having their very first “Cuddle Up and Read” event.

You might be wondering what, exactly, is “Cuddle Up and Read.” The brainchild of Stacy Katzwer, elementary school principal, “Cuddle Up and Read” is simply that—a designated time to snuggle up under a cozy cover on a cold winter morning and get lost in a book. And what goes better with a book and a blanket than hot cocoa?

A week prior to “Cuddle Up and Read,” Katzwer walked into each elementary school classroom dressed as the Cat in the Hat and handed out invitations to every child. Together they talked about reading for pleasure, snuggling up on a cold winter day and even shared suggestions of good books. The teachers also received invitations and were invited and encouraged to bring books to read. The children were so excited!

On the special day, a team of parent volunteers were in school bright and early to help pour and distribute hot cocoa in special “Cuddle Up and Read” mugs. Several moms joined the early childhood department to read to our youngest book lovers who were also treated to chocolate milk. The middle schoolers got to sip their cocoa during DEAR Time (Drop Everything And Read) in the classrooms and hallways. For about an hour that day, wherever you looked, children were reading for pleasure. What a sight to behold.

“Cuddle Up and Read” also kicked off the first school-wide read-a-thon. From Friday, January 12 through Friday, March 2, the students and teachers in grades one through eight will be reading and tracking the number of pages read on special reading logs. Those pages will be tallied and prizes will be given to children who participate. More celebrations of reading and literacy are planned for the coming weeks, with the culminating celebration in March for Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

What a wonderful way to end the semester and begin winter break! Let’s get reading because,“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”