By Jake Shiner and Patrick Simpson –
Penn Manor High School is hosting the 12th annual Read-A-Thon Sunday, Feb. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the high school East gym.
This event is open to kids from kindergarten through fourth grade as well as the rest of the public. Organizers predict between 200- 250 people will attend the event.
In the past, the event got rave reviews from those who attended. This year kids will get cupcakes, a book reading of their choice, and they will also get to see the Cat in the Hat.
This year juniors Sarah Evarts and Julie Andrusisin will be reading at the event for the first time.
“We’re going to read our favorite children’sbooks,” said Andrusisin.
They both said they understand the value of reading and the vital role it plays in education.
“Readers make leaders, so we want to encourage kids to read,” said Andrusisin.
Evarts added that part of the way they will be influencing the kids to read is through a connection with sports that the youngsters are interested in and the ones in which the volunteer readers participate.
Although neither girl attended any Read-A-Thons as kids they are looking forward to volunteering at the upcoming event.
Along with the school’s student athletes, the school’s drama department, which is in rehearsal for the play Seussical, is in cooperation with the Read-A-Thon.
Melissa Minzter, head of the drama department, believes that the play and the Read-A-Thon will both benefit from each other, that it will help draw crowds to both events.
“It is a win-win for the play and for the drama department,” said Mintzer. They both gain publicity.”
Austin Richwine, a senior player on the school’s baseball team, is another athlete reading at the Read-A-Thon.
“I volunteered because I like volunteering with little kids and want to pass my knowledge onto them,” said Richwine.
Similar to some of the other volunteers, Richwine didn’t attend a Read-A-Thon when he was younger but wishes he would have.
“I wish I would have went when I was a little kid because when I was that age I really looked up to older kids and they could have inspired or influenced me in some positive way,” Richwine.
According to English teacher Jeffrey Taylor, one of the coordinators, the kids are going to be able to interact with the Cat in the Hat and see him whisked away on a fire truck, which should prove to be a great experience.
The motto for this year’s Read-A-Thon is “Exercise your brain, read a book.” This simple but effective slogan for the event that really conveys the intentions of the Read-A-Thon, as well as intertwining it with the sports interests.
Kids attending the event should bring their favorite book to be read aloud and, if possible, a new book to donate to less fortunate children. If it snows the Read-A-Thon will be rescheduled for February 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Make sure to register by February 21 by calling 872-9520 x1515 or go to http://pmreadathon.wikispaces.com.