Webster fourth-grader Rohan Ross (left), Anthony Guimaras and classmates enjoy a book of their choice as the readathon begins.

Columbus and Webster Schools Begin Readathons

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — As three elementary schools wrapped up their month-long readathons this week, they passed the baton to two others – Columbus Elementary School and Daniel Webster Magnet School.

Students at Columbus and Webster began their readathons on Wednesday, setting out to see how much they could read during the month of November. In many of the readathons, students find sponsors to donate to the PTAs for every minute they spend with the written word. At Webster, the funds raised will go to improving the school’s Learning Garden, possibly to buy a greenhouse.

Columbus is taking a slightly different approach, asking students to keep track of the number of pages they read rather than the minutes.

“We’re really just building up the kids to set goals for their reading,” said Columbus Assistant Principal Shelli Owens. “We want them to be a little mindful of how many pages they read. And we’ll use that to set their reading goals for the rest of the year.”

The school will hold a Stop, Drop and Read each Thursday morning, when students, teachers, administrators and other staff members will spend 10 or 15 minutes reading for pleasure. They’re planning to have guest readers come in. Owens is planning a game with questions about character, plot or other aspects of fiction written on beach balls, to be answered by students who catch the balls when tossed.

Webster set goals for students by grade, assigning each level a different number of minutes to spend reading. On the first night, Webster School held a pajama party where parents were able to shop for books at the school’s book fair, and then enjoy family literacy activities.

“The readathon is one way to place a school-wide emphasis on the importance of reading on a daily basis,” said Webster Principal Melissa Passarelli.

“It will benefit the school and yourself,” said Webster fourth-grader Rohan Ross. “When you read more it will help you become smarter and it will help the Learning Garden.”

The schools that finished their readathons on Tuesday are George M. Davis Jr., Jefferson and William B. Ward elementary schools.