Read Across America: Dance Parties!

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There was a palpable excitement in the building on Friday morning. Students spent extra time lingering in the halls after delivering messages, using the restroom, or heading to specials. Everyone seemed to be waiting to hear the sound of a marker against butcher paper. Why? Because when we left school on Thursday afternoon, our Read Across America 3,000 Book Challenge count was past 2,500. With a dance party hanging in the balance, the stakes were high. Students fidgeted in their seats as teachers calculated class totals and entered them into the school-wide Google doc. It seemed like the whole school was holding its breath. Until….

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Barely seconds after I finished coloring in our final few books, news had spread throughout the school that the dance parties were on! Johnson students and staff members worked so hard to reach this goal, and should be so proud of the incredible number of books that we shared together. With two days off due to a blizzard, a two-hour delay, and less than three days to catch up from an unexpected five-day weekend without new library books, this comeback was one for the record books.

Speaking of the record books, our reward dance parties may also have earned a spot for having the highest number of excited students in one room at one time! Friday was also our Oh, The Places You’ll Go! spirit day, so teachers and students were dressed as what they want to be when they grow up. Dressed as President Messham, I had a blast dancing with future police officers, football players, ballerinas, veterinarians, rock stars, handymen, and doctors. Here are some of my favorite photos from our Read Across America 3,000 Book Challenge Victory Dance Parties!


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This challenge got to the root of what our time at Johnson is really all about – dedication, putting in the effort, working as a team, and achieving goals, no matter how impossible they may seem. By the time all of our numbers were recorded on Friday morning, we had read more than 3,600 books! Our top reading grade was fourth grade, with 1,217 books read between the two classes. Our top reading classes were Ms. Rickabaugh’s fourth grade class (886 books read), Ms. Randolph’s fourth grade class (336 books read), Ms. Wayland’s third grade class (323 books read), Ms. Machen’s second grade class (318 books read), and Ms. FitzGerald’s kindergarten class (258 books read). Every single class did their best, read their hearts out, and spent the week celebrating their favorite books and love of reading. I am so proud to be a Johnson Learning Leopard, now more than ever!

Congratulations to all of our staff and students on their amazing accomplishments last week – from crazy costumes, fabulous trivia research, and incredible determination all the way to truly impressive dance moves. Way to go… I can’t WAIT for next year’s Read Across America Celebration!

– Miss Messham

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