Summer may be just around the corner for Great Valley School District students, but General Wayne Elementary School principal Bonnie Citron is not letting her kids off the hook quite yet.
On Friday afternoon, General Wayne teachers dressed up as caterpillars, ballerinas and ball players to teach students about General Wayne's "Reading Takes You Places" summer reading program.
"My big mission this year revolved around getting kids to have a passion for reading," Citron said. "It's been great seeing kids walking to the car with their nose in a book, and we didn't want the momentum to stop over the summer."
General Wayne has promoted various reading initiatives already this school year, including Literacy Night, Read Across America Night, and March's reading challenge, in which students were challenged to read 2,011 books over the course of the month. The students more than doubled that amount, and as a prize, got to enjoy an .
This challenge encourages students to read at least four books this summer. In keeping with the travel theme, student will create "passports" with their pictures inside and receive travel logs in which they record their reading adventures.
Once students finish a book, they will create a postcard on which they tell about the story and draw a scene from the book. They will then take the postcard to , Paoli Library, or , where they can have their passports stamped. General Wayne's library will be open select Wednesday evenings this summer from 7 to 8 p.m.: June 22, July 13, July 27, August 10 and August 24.
At the beginning of the assembly, Citron lauded her students for all their hard work.
"I cannot tell you how proud I am of all of you as principal of General Wayne," she said. "Your teachers are telling me that you aren't putting down books, that you're walking from place to place with your nose in a book, and you talk about books all the time—and I can't tell you how proud I am."
"So we have something special for you today," Citron continued. "A puppet show."
Citron's announcement was followed by gasps, applause and cheers from the students in the audience as puppets took the stage to teach about reading in conjunction with costumed teachers (see the photo gallery, above).
After the assembly, Citron—whose own favorite childhood book was Charlotte's Web, she said—shared that she's been reading books with her students. "The kids have inspired me to read with them," she said. "I'm finding there are so many great books out there."