South Routt carnival gives out books and fun | SteamboatToday.com

South Routt carnival gives out books and fun

Zach Fridell

The giggles kept coming as student after student took a turn as a human bowling ball at the South Routt Elementary School Literacy Carnival on April 14.

As the students from the elementary school made their way around the booths set up in the gym at the elementary school in Yampa, they earned their reading material for the next several months. Each student who completed the arduous task of playing seven games was rewarded with seven new books from the school cafeteria.

More than 1,000 books were purchased through grants and community donations for the event, ranging from preschool readers to chapter books for the older students.

With cars lined up and down the street in front of the school and the gym packed with eager parents and children, principal Michael Young said it looked like nearly each of the 210 students at the school attended the evening-long event, with a good number of the 48 students invited from the South Routt Early Learning Center taking their turns at events, too.

“Our goal is just to get the books into the hands of the kids to read,” said Tillie Price, a paraprofessional at the school who helped organize the event, now in its seventh year, since the inaugural event.

In addition to the seven new books available for each student, the school also organized a book swap for parents to share used children’s books for free.

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Fourth-grader Danielle Villa was picking up chapter books, including a biography of Helen Keller and “Brian’s Winter,” by Gary Paulsen. Brian Ripley, with his children Walker and Tanner in preschool and first grade, respectively, was picking out books about Tracy McGrady and enjoying the company of Clifford, The Big Red Dog, who visited the students.

Booths, operated and sponsored by community groups ranging from businesses to high school clubs, helped the students through the series of literacy games.

“That’s what is neat, seeing the whole community come together to do it,” said Rita Herald, a Title 1 teacher at the school.