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Challenger K-8's Literary Cafe highlights kindergarteners' writing progress

Victor Lovell, 5, reads to his mother, Michelle Lovell, 31, while she holds Victor’s 9-month-old sister, Vivienne. Challenger K-8 kindergarten teacher Margie Yurtinus saves the students’ work throughout the year for the Literary Cafe.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

Victor Lovell, 5, reads to his mother, Michelle Lovell, 31, while she holds Victor’s 9-month-old sister, Vivienne. Challenger K-8 kindergarten teacher Margie Yurtinus saves the students’ work throughout the year for the Literary Cafe.

SPRING HILL — Margie Yurtinus' classroom had a festive look, with orange and magenta table covers, as parents and grandparents streamed in to see their children's work and enjoy refreshments.

The Challenger K-8 kindergarten teacher called the recent event her Literary Cafe, and the children had been preparing for it essentially all year. The children showed their parents work they had done throughout the year.

"I just save a writing piece from each month so the parents can see the progression," Yurtinus said.

She has been holding this type of event for about 16 years, first at Suncoast Elementary and then at Challenger.

Michelle Lovell was at the cafe with her son, Victor Lovell, 5. She appreciated the way she could see how her son had progressed.

"It's really great that you can start in the beginning and see how they've developed through the school year, and the kids love it," she said. "They're so excited to show their work."

Victor was okay with the event, although he admitted he is not keen on writing. But he was glad to show his mother what he had done because, he said, "I like her."

Edgar and Laila Jovellanos visited the classroom with their son, Joshua, 6.

"It's amazing to see how he progressed so much with his writing, thinking," Laila Jovellanos said.

Gianni Labdar, 6, had a bit of a crowd with him. His parents, Yassir and Leschele Labdar, were there, along with his Spring Hill grandmother and his grandparents visiting from Monaco.

Said Yassir Labdar: "It makes the parents get together. You can see where they study, how they learn."

Gianni was glad to have his family in his classroom, but prefers math to writing.

"He loves math," his mother said.

"He gets smiley faces," said his father.

"No," Gianni said, correcting his father, "stickers."

Challenger K-8's Literary Cafe highlights kindergarteners' writing progress 05/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 2:00pm]
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