Students, families, invited to ‘Night of Adventure’

Library entrance with sign, "Reading Is An Adventure'

Herkimer Elementary is getting ready for a “Night of Adventure” on March 30 to celebrate student participation in the Pick A Reading Partner (PARP) program, which kicked off March 20.

According to pre-kindergarten teacher and PARP organizer Deb Schoff, PARP aims to get students excited about reading by encouraging them to read for pleasure. Students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade are asked to read at home five nights a week during the program, which will run through March 31. Parents sign off on a sheet to show students’ progress.

“We read at school all the time to learn, or to do a task, but we don’t want children to lose sight of the fact that reading can be enjoyable,” Schoff explained. “This isn’t schoolwork — it’s whatever students want to read, any genre, at any level. We want them to discover the joy of reading.”

This year’s program has an “Adventure” theme, thanks in part to author Gary VanRiper, whose visit to Herkimer Elementary on March 20 kicked off the two-week program. VanRiper donated copies of his “Adirondack Kids” book series to the school, and a display outside the school library features an Adirondack adventure theme.

Hanging on the wall outside each classroom is a paper “mountain,” where each class’s progress will be marked as the program proceeds. One classroom from pre-K, kindergarten and first grade will win a visit from the Zoomobile, and one classroom from second through sixth grade will win a trip to swim at the Herkimer Community College pool, based on participation in the program.

And all students and their families are invited to join the “Adventure Night” celebration from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the elementary school, where students and their parents will travel through a fun obstacle course to complete six different challenges.

“It’s just a nice culmination for the end of PARP,” Schoff said. “We want it to be something fun for the kids, and to reward them for reading at home for two weeks.”

Transportation will be provided to and from Adventure Night. Buses will pick up families at Myers Park and K-Mart at 6:15 p.m. Returning transportation will leave the elementary school at 7:30 p.m.