The students of Lee Means Elementary School gathered for a special holiday themed POP STAR Reading session on Dec. 12.
Students from all grade levels celebrated in the library for an hour of story time. Entertained by the book “Santa Kid” by James Patterson, students became encouraged to read not only in the classroom but at home as well. After the session, students received a copy of “Santa Kid” to take home and a Christmas stocking.
“The students love it,” said Liz Maldonado, principal at Lee Means. “’These activities are in line with our district’s early literacy initiative.”
They were dressed in their best reindeer, Santa and elf attire. They also took the time to sing a couple of Christmas carols in between stories. Kayleen Cantu, Harlingen High School senior, volunteered to stop by and read a story to the students.
Volunteers and students of the POP STAR program meet once a month throughout the school year, said Kathy Preddy, resource development director for the United Way. Each time they come together, the students receive a book to take home and add to their collection. At the end of the year, students have their own library of 8 to 10 books. At each meeting, they try and bring in different community members to read to the students.
The positive reception to the program has been so great, that the campus has now encountered the problem of having to prevent students from walking and reading at the same time for their safety.
The POP STAR Reading Program is part of the United Way of Northern Cameron County’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Harlingen. Volunteers from across the community are invited to read to the children and endorse the message “Reading is Fun”.
“We hope to continue the program, and try to be as generous as the United Way has been with the Rio Grande Valley and our students,” Maldonado said.