Kennedy Elementary School students camp out with a good book

It was reading night at Camp Kennedy on Thursday evening. Students and their parents read books campground style. The school gymnasium was turned into an campground for the occasion.

It was reading night at Camp Kennedy on Thursday evening. Students and their parents read books campground style. The school gymnasium was turned into an campground for the occasion.

MANISTEE — Nothing beats sitting next to a campfire on a cool night lost in the pages of a good book as the logs peacefully snap and crackle in the flames.

School officials at Kennedy Elementary School couldn’t agree more and that is why they decided to open Camp Kennedy on Thursday evening to promote reading. Principal Kevin Schmutzler said the evening was designed to be fun and educational for students and parents. It is an activity that falls in line with March as reading month.

“Tonight is our family reading night, and we have transformed the school into a campground,” he said. “We sign them in when they arrive and then we send them down to the cafeteria because nothing starts off a camping trip better than to have a pancake breakfast.”

Schmutzler said the pancakes and sausages were made and served up by members of the staff. The free breakfast was made possible by the generous donations from several members of the community.

“Once they finished eating, we have them going up to the gymnasium where they can spend some time reading with their children,” he said. “We set up some tents, camp chairs and even have an artificial campfire that they can sit around to read.”

He said following the family reading time they broke out into special sessions for the parents where they could learn more about supporting their children’s reading at home.

“Every 15 minutes they can move to a different break outs session where they can learn how to help their child’s reading in writing, math, science and social studies,” he said. “We also plan to talk with them about our intervention support programs at the school and our one-to-one iPad program. We also talk with them how parents can check out their student’s grades through the iPad app.”

Schmutzler said that it was the best turnout he has seen for this type of event in his eight years as a principal. About 80 students were joined by their parents and other family members for the event.

“It was a teacher’s idea to hold this night and it is a great community event,” he said.

 

 

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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