ANNA — Anna Middle School students stomped their feet and chanted as the teachers took their places in the gym to begin the kick-off to the school’s new program, “All Rockets Read.”
The kick-off began with the middle school Principal Cindy Endsley explaining the purpose and goals of “All Rockets Read”: to unify and instill the importance of perseverance by selecting a book that displays that theme, which will unite both the classroom and the students’ homes as conversations extend from one into the other.
All the teachers involved hope this will inspire students to read for leisure, connect activities in the classroom to the home, help different age groups connect around the theme of perseverance, and get students excited to read.
When asked the definition of “perseverance,” one student answered, “When something’s tough and you don’t give up.”
After this, they were ready for their demonstration. A few teachers ran with a banner, reading, “When the going gets tough,” which the students replied to by chanting, “The tough get going!”
The rest of the middle school teachers raced each other across the gym while balancing a large stack of books on one hand. John Bruce, eighth-grade American history teacher, stumbled and sent his books flying, at which he lost his temper and quit the race. Nathan Barhorst, seventh-grade science teacher and the head boys’ basketball coach, traded in these hats for a cape, and became Captain Perseverance.
After rushing to Bruce’s side, he encouraged him to pick up his books and complete the race despite being last, demonstrating to students that accomplishing your goals at all is what’s really important.
After the kick-off ended, the students collected their new books and returned to class. Grades 4-12 will be reading “The Exact Location of Home,” while the special education students will read “When Life Gives You OJ.”
The elementary is also participating, with grades 2 and 3 reading “When Life Gives You OJ” and K and 1 reading “How to Catch a Star.”
The program was initiated by Lisa McEldowney, elementary school librarian, and Missy Rivera, the middle and high school librarian. The year-long program will include a book fair, canned food drive, a children’s book contest, and a movie night at the park, among many other things.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.