It was an assembly featuring Ronald McDonald at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School Tuesday morning, and even though McDonald wore the trademark colors of yellow and orange, student Erica Cone, 11, dressed entirely different - black and silver.
"This week is sports week for reading," she said. "And we have to wear sports stuff. Of course, my team is the Raiders."
Actually, it's reading week at Bordewich-Bray and full of activities planned around the theme "Score One for Reading."
On Monday, students wore baseball caps to school and some attended the school's learning night called Score Three for Reading. More than 230 people went, and students played sight-word bingo, read rhymes for jump rope songs and did word problems for math.
"I thought it would be cool to go," said fifth-grader Tim Spencer, 11. "I went so I could do some math games."
"No you went for the ice cream," said his classmate Aldean Street, 11, who also attended.
Tuesday morning, the students were visited by Ronald McDonald, who provided a 45-minute presentation called "Go active." McDonald, the top of his head awash in that notable red hair, asked students to pledge to read every day and pledge to do an hour of an activity that they enjoy.
"We like to have (McDonald) come during reading week because he usually does a wonderful connection to reading," said Donna Schellin, facilitator of the school's research-based reading program, Success for All, or SFA. The program is available through Johns Hopkins University.
In the course of the week, students will read poems to others in their classrooms and be read to by baseball players from Carson High School.
Eight years ago, the school district implemented Success for All at Bordewich-Bray, Empire and Mark Twain elementary schools.
"Students get tested every eight weeks in our reading program because they get regrouped to make sure they're in the correct class," Schellin said. "We always want to keep them at their instructional level."
Every student at Bordewich-Bray is required to read 20 minutes each night outside of regular homework. Parents must sign off on the reading.
"I think reading is OK," Erica said. "I think it's pretty good because you get to learn stuff from it. There's funny stuff in books and you can look at the pictures too."
Although her favorite subjects are math and physical education, she enjoys reading class too. In her SFA class, students are reading "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler."
"SFA's cool too," she said. "I like my teacher and we do fun stuff when we read."
There are 33 different reading levels in the SFA program. Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders have 90 minutes of reading at the same time each day, which allows for different grade levels to be in the same SFA class. First- and second-graders also have reading at the same time.
Reading week ends with a softball game Friday featuring fifth-graders playing against staff.
-- Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at email@example.com or 881-1219.