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Celebrating reading around the world

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 11 2014 04:45:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 05:53:48 PM CDT

Did you know you can visit anywhere in world without leaving your chair? And no, it doesn't involve your computer and the internet -- those visits come from your imagination when you sit down and read a book.

COEBURN, Va. -

Did you know you can visit anywhere in world without leaving your chair? And no, it doesn't involve your computer and the internet -- those visits come from your imagination when you sit down and read a book.

The students at Coeburn Primary know that all too well as they celebrate Reading Month. Not only are they learning an appreciation of reading, but they're learning about the continents they visit.

It's not hard to capture the imagination of elementary students with a little time and a good book. The look in their eyes tell you you're making contact, and there are no electronic devices needed.

Add in a chance to dress up, and you've got a celebration of reading and learning around the world. "We wanted a theme that would not only make the kids excited about reading and get them reading more, we also wanted them to learn in the process," says reading specialist Melissa Pannell.

They're learning and reading about continents, about the countries, and the world's people and cultures. "Every grade level was assigned a continent, and they were to decorate their hallways based on that continent, and read to their students about that continent. We really wanted them to get to know the countries and the cultures of them," Pannell said.

One second grader dressed up as someone from Ethiopia. She has a reason for that, and it involved her adopted brother. "My mom and dad, they picked up Davis [there]. They had no food to eat, so they adopted him and now he's ours," second grader Audrey Monge said.

Others stuck to characters here in America, like Johnny Appleseed. "I like the book [about him]," Christian Boling says.

All over the school, both inside and out, reading was the topic -- whether just for pleasure or preparing them for tests. The one simple skill of reading can open doors they never imagined before. "We wanted to portray the message that you may never get to visit those places but through a book you can," Pannell said.

And that message is being received.