An elementary student dresses up as the cat in the hat.

Both Ste. Genevieve Elementary and Bloomsdale Elementary celebrated Read-On Missouri Week from Feb. 28 - March 4. This week is part of the Read Across America program, which is sponsored by the National Education Association and celebrates reading and encourages students to develop lifelong reading habits!

Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to participate in various activities that promote the message that reading provides countless opportunities to learn and grow. Both schools hosted visiting readers, held bookmark contests and dress-up days, among other fun activities, to celebrate the week! 

MNEA officers, MNEA-Retired teachers, Officer Christy Clark, retired officer Mr. Jeff McCarty, Board of Education members, administrators and community members all made plans to read to students. Our guest readers shared some of their favorite children’s books to the students, and of course, there were three guests that all of the students knew right from the start—the Cat in the Hat, and Thing 1 and Thing 2!

Each year, SGNEA and NHS has a tradition of sponsoring Cat in the Hat visits to both elementary schools—this year, Abigail Moore dressed up as the Cat for SGE, and Kali Schweigert dressed up as the Cat for BLE. Paige Huck and Peyton Bequette were Thing 1 and Thing 2 for SGE, and Elizabeth Basler and Kylee Clayton were Thing 1 and Thing 2 for BLE. NHS members volunteer their time, while SGNEA sponsors the Cat in the Hat suits while NHS provides the Thing suits. 

At both schools, students and staff participated in themed dress-up days throughout the week! Monday was Hats Off to Reading, where students wore their favorite hats; Tuesday was Every Color Counts, where students wore their favorite colors; Wednesday was Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!, where students wore anything Dr. Seuss; Thursday was We All Have Bad Hair Days, where students came in with crazy hair; and Friday was Cuddle Up with a Good Book, where students wore pajamas. 

Our cafeteria employees also jumped right into the spirit of reading with literacy-themed lunches! For example, Monday’s theme was “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” where students were served colorful Goldfish snacks with grilled cheese!

Toward the end of the week, every student at both schools received a bookmark! At BLE, bookmarks were drawn by students, and winners were selected based on their theme choice, composition, and craftsmanship. The bookmark contest winners were: Sophia Crocker, Claire Geisler, Ben Platoff, and Rogann Zuspann, who all received a certificate and book as a prize. At SGE, all 5th grade students designed a bookmark in Art Class related to Dr. Seuss, or any book that they love! Faculty voted for their favorite bookmark, and the winner was Kamrie Meyer!

BLE held a book raffle with nearly 100 books to give away throughout the week! Every day of the week, names were drawn from each class, and during morning announcements, one student from each classroom was called to select a free book!

At SGE, students won daily prizes each morning. About 60 students picked a prize of their choice each day, and many of the prizes were Dr. Seuss-themed. About 300 prizes were given throughout the week!

SGE held an assembly, where local author Natalie Herberlie and local illustrator Kenzie Wolk presented their book “Lion Protector.” Natalie read the book aloud during the assembly, and both shared what their experience had been publishing this book for children. This book was inspired by the first female anti-poaching ranger group in Kenya, all from the Maasai tribe. Also at the assembly, the SGHS band, cheerleaders and Emeralds all performed and then shared with the younger students their favorite childhood books. 

At SGE, a door decorating contest was launched, and certificates were awarded to students who checked out the most books from the library this school year.

 First place for SGE’s door decorating contest was Mrs. Lurk’s fourth grade class, second place was Mrs. Hermann’s room, and third place was Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Brown’s room! The doors were decorated with a theme centering around reading! Teachers and students won prizes for all three places!

The SGE student winners for most library check-outs included: 

  • 2nd Grade: 1st & 2nd Place Tie: Maci Champion and Mason Hurst, 71 check-outs; 3rd Place: Dresden Donze, 70 check-outs

  • 3rd Grade: 1st Place: Oliver Thompson, 142 check-outs; 2nd Place: Micah Kertz, 106 check-outs; 3rd Place: Hayden Sumner, 100 check-outs

  • 4th Grade: 1st Place: Seth Richardson, 91 check-outs; 2nd Place: Letty Adams, 79 check-outs; 3rd Place: Leyla Schmidt, 76 check-outs

  • 5th Grade: 1st Place: Connor Hill, 134 check-outs; 2nd Place: Lydia Brown, 111 check-outs; 3rd Place: Braxton Ellis, 104 check-outs

We would like to thank all of our guest readers who took the time to engage and share their love of reading with our students!