Library, retired teacher challenge elementary students to read at home during March

By Chad Koenen


Henning Elementary students are being challenged to put down an electronic device and pick up a book throughout the month of March.

The challenge comes from Henning School Librarian Pam Wiese and retired English teacher Marjorie Quammen, who are helping to organize the annual I Love to Read Month. This year I Love to Read Month will be held throughout the month of March and will feature a number of unique prizes for students in grades K-5.

As part of I Love to Read Month, students will receive a brightly colored bookmark with numbers on it. For every 20 minutes the student reads at home, they will be able to cross off one of the numbers. When their bookmark is completed, they will have a parent or guardian sign the bookmark and bring it back to their classroom teacher. When the month is over, Wiese and Quammen will be giving successful reading challenge students a ceramic mug filled with hot chocolate and a dollop of ice cream. Wiese said they have been collecting mugs and they have a variety of sizes, colors and designs available for students who complete the challenge. 

While February has traditionally been I Love to Read Month, Wiese said the school opted to change it to March this year since there were more days in March than February, and would allow for one big reading month for students across the district. This year’s challenge will also give Quammen an opportunity to continue to promote reading in the school district she called home for 39 years. 

“March has more days in it and it tends to be long for the students as we anxiously await great weather. We thought the hot chocolate and the ice cream together would be a super treat and the students get to keep the ceramic mugs,” said Wiese. “Mrs. Quammen is very passionate about kids reading, in fact pre-Covid, she came in and personally gave of her time to have third graders read to her, improving their reading skills.  I know the kids really miss her.”

As part of the Henning School reading challenge, the kindergarten through fifth grade teachers will also be holding Read Across America month activities. The month will feature a different theme each week, which includes: week one, books about families; week two, books about taking action; week three, silly story books; week four, books about different cultures and week five, books about famous Americans.