Tuesday, March 5, 2013

#NEAReads 2013 Proved It Never Hurts To Ask

What a day Friday, March 1st was at my school!

It all started when...at the end of 2012's Read Across America, I started to wonder who I could invite to make 2013's even better.  Right away, I applied for the Missouri's National Education Association Cat Tracks Tour to come to my school (basically, The Cat in the Hat would come to my school and awesomeness would be had).  Slowly, I started adding people I wanted to invite to my list.  I sent in a request for a St. Louis Rams player in September.  My big push for people came during winter break.  I used my contacts from last year and added some new ones.

With the decent flow of individuals saying yes, I figured why not try for some people I didn't actually think I could get--Senator Claire McCaskill and  Congressman Lacy Clay.  Meeting requests forms were sent in for both...waiting, waiting, and--wait!  What's this?!?  A call from Senator McCaskill's office and an email from Congressman Clay's office!!  NO. WAY!  Turns out both would've been more than happy to come, but only Congressman Clay was in town during the day.  Score!

A St. Louis Zookeeper, who happened to be a children's book author made the list and once she was confirmed, I knew she would work well with the "Cat" during an assembly.  And while I'm at, let's make Congressman Clay an assembly, too.

The week of the event and who do I get a call from?!?  The St. Louis Rams!  Now, I'm not a Rams fan (but, I'm a Lance Kendricks fan now), but I knew my students would get a kick out of a professional sports figure coming to read to them. 

Many more community guests came to my school--The Black Rep, Fire Department, school administrators, SIUE student-athletes, President of the Boys and Girls Club of
St. Louis, and religious leaders-
-and visited individual classrooms.  All readers engaged the students, listened to them, answered their questions, and genuinely showed their interest (and "cool" factor) for reading.

It was incredible; literally a whole day of reading!  It made all the invites, back and forth emails, scheduling and rescheduling, set up, and decorations worth it.

1 comment:

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