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Opinion: VUES Read-a-Thon helps children embrace literacy

Have you ever lost yourself in a book? Been so drawn into a story that you couldn’t turn the pages fast enough? Stayed up well past the time when sensible folks click off their bedside lamps? Have you ever read an article so thoroughly researched that you had to concede that your own opinion might be wrong? Or read something that compelled you to take action? Have you ever started reading a story aloud to one child only to have other children quietly draw near as if you were the Pied Piper himself? No matter the form, fanciful tales, political essays, scientific articles, lyrical poetry or passionate editorials, when we string words together to communicate with each other it is a beautiful, powerful thing to behold.
To help foster the joy of reading in our children, for the entire month of March all students at Vergennes Union Elementary School (VUES) will be participating in a Read-a-Thon, coordinated by the VUES Community Group, reading (or having read to them) as many minutes outside of school as they can. If you know a VUES student, please consider sponsoring his or her efforts. You may pledge per minute read or offer a flat donation for overall effort. The Community Group will use the funds raised to provide a variety of enrichment opportunities to the VUES student body.  
But there are other ways to support the Read-a-Thon as well. You could snuggle up with a younger, pre-reader reading a stack of beloved storybooks. Or take turns reading aloud from a chapter book with an older reader. Or pass down a favorite family storybook. Or spend time just sitting quietly near a child enjoying your own reading material while he immerses himself in his. Even simply asking a child what she is reading and encouraging her to share details of the story with you helps her continue to develop her appreciation for the many benefits of reading.
To learn more about the VUES Read-a-Thon, talk to your favorite VUES student or contact the VUES office at 802-877-3761.
Alexandria McGuire
Vergennes

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