St. Catherine’s Celebrate Reading

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Donovan Williams
According to the posters inside of St. Catherine's School, by reading just one minute per day, a person is exposed to 8,000 words per year. By reading for five minutes, readers are exposed to 282,000 words per year. And by reading for twenty minutes, readers are exposed to 1.8 million words per year. St. Catherine's School has proven that their students have no problem meeting these statistics.
The students of St. Catherine's School in Valley City are learning in a variety of ways as a theme is chosen every year to encourage kids to have a bit of fun in the process of their education. Themes such as superheroes, Wizard of Oz, and many others have occurred over the past few years and this year's theme is centered around reading. All of the themes have been funded by the school's fall auction, to which many have contributed over time and the school itself could not be more grateful for all of the support.
Accelerated Reading tests are frequently given in the school but the theme itself has a little more to it. Librarian Carol Gulka was the main person to put this year's theme together, presenting the kids with a map of the United States as a way of setting a goal, reading and learning about the states chosen for them, and gaining and understanding about the country they call home as well as improving their reading level.
"The theme this year is 'Read Your Way Through the USA,'" Gulka said. "Each student is given their own map of the United States and they put their dot on it. They are learning about the states along with improving their reading skills."
Dean of the students, Dawn Ihry expressed much gratitude for Gulka's work for the children.
"Mrs. Gulka purchased a nice set of state books and we are encouraging the kids to read those," Ihry said. "Then they are recognized in Chapel and will also receive awards. Stuff like geography really ties in with the reading."
Both Ihry and Gulka spoke of the Flicker Tale books, books the children also read in order to get a certificate and an extra award. The books themselves are nominated by the State Librarians and the top winners will get their own label in one of the books. There are 16 books in school this year and a good number of students had already completed all of them along with passing an Accelerated Reading test.
Gulka was asked if there was any difficulty getting the children on board, though she assures they are always excited, constantly asking what the theme will be at the beginning of the year.
"From fall to now," Gulka said, "You really do see such an improvement in their reading skills."
As far as what the theme will be next year, both Gulka and Ihry are taking time yet to decide what that will be. They made it clear that several possibilities were in the air at the moment but should decide on something they haven't done before. They plan on celebrating this year's theme with a big surprise, to which neither would share for the time being. Whatever it is, many will agree that it is much deserved for the children. With enough effort, the students have strived in their education and it will be interesting to see where it goes from there.