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Reading sparks students’ creative efforts

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Quinn Boerner stands next to her reading fair presentation, a creative depiction of "Island of the Blue Dolphins," a book by Scott O'Dell. Over 170 students participated in the fair at Brookhaven Elementary School.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Quinn Boerner stands next to her reading fair presentation, a creative depiction of “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” a book by Scott O’Dell. Over 170 students participated in the fair at Brookhaven Elementary School.

The Mississippi Reading Fair, a statewide event geared at increasing students’ reading comprehension, has led to a hallway full of creatively designed book reports presented on poster board at Brookhaven Elementary School

The reading fair is a district-wide event held at participating schools that demonstrates student’s mastery of comprehension and creativity on storyboards. It is also a contest that could lead local students to a statewide competition in Jackson in April.

In total, 170 storyboards adorn the hallway of Brookhaven Elementary School. The storyboards are the result of students’ creative depictions of the book they have chosen.

“The participation and response has far exceeded my imaginings,” BES Principal LaRenda Harrison says. “As I walk the halls and look at what our students have done, I am grateful and overwhelmed.”

Reading is the cornerstone of every subject, says Harrison. In social studies and science, it is vital that students be able to interpret and comprehend what is being read. Developing reading skills is crucial as a first step to comprehension and problem solving.

Besides enriching students’ understanding of the world, the fair has led to a closer connection between students and their parents. This has been an added benefit, Harrison said.

“We are excited at the conversations between parents and students. The reading fair has presented an opportunity for family involvement and parental support between a parent and a child,” said Harrison.

BES third grade teacher Mignon McKennon is overwhelmed by the level of creativity involved with the storyboards.

“These kids are remarkable. These projects are outstanding. You can tell a lot of time went into putting these together,” McKennon said.

Last week’s event is part of a school district competition. Winning storyboards will now go on to a regional competition that will be held from Feb.1 to March 31. Winning entries at the regional competition will then compete at the state level on April 15.

The reading fair is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Curriculum and Instruction.