Thursday, April 26, 2018
Education

Reading corner at Spring Hill Elementary allows kids to curl up with books

SPRING HILL — It can be really nice to curl up in a comfy chair and read a book, and Spring Hill Elementary School has recognized this with the creation of the Goodnight Moon reading corner in the school's media center.

The wall is painted bright blue and green. The green is the inside of a house. The blue is the night sky with stars. A painting of a cow jumping over the moon is depicted above a fireplace, which is painted on the green part of the wall. It was made three dimensional with the addition of two small pillars (painted cardboard rolls) holding up a mantle-like shelf. Yellow and green striped curtains flank the entire scene.

"We just wanted a quiet, serene reading corner," said assistant principal Kristen Tormey. "It's important to remember we need time to read for pleasure."

The area was painted by community member/school volunteer Cindi Sierak, who, Tormey said, "has a knack for art and painting." She has also done artwork on the kindergarten and first-grade hallway walls.

First-grader Crystal Ni, 7, likes the spot, "because it's a nice place to read." She likes the "comfy chair." The chairs used to be in principal Michael Maine's office. He donated them to the Goodnight Moon corner.

First-grader Dominic Ciccarello, 6, also likes the area, "because it has a fireplace, because on cold days it calms me down."

Susan Timberlake is the school's media specialist.

"The students love the corner," Timberlake said, "because it gives them the opportunity to take a deep breath, settle in and enjoy a good book. It's relaxing, too. Our focus today is all about technology, but this is here to remind us that's it's important to curl up with a good book."

Children are welcome to read in the cozy corner during open media center or when they have media center time.

Near the reading corner is another reading-related area, a small room where school volunteer Carol Ellis meets with her Spring Hill Elementary Book Club. Ellis is a retired elementary school assistant principal who wasn't ready to leave the school scene altogether. She decided to start a book club at Spring Hill Elementary in cooperation with Barbara Sullivan, who is teaching fourth grade.

The number of students in the club is limited to six, and each applied to be included by writing an essay and doing an interview. Ellis and Sullivan determine if the experience will enhance a particular child's reading.

They read books from the Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Program book list. The students come to book club having read a certain number of pages. Sometimes they have writing assignments.

Ellis has been doing this for five years. It has worked out that she has had the same children for three of those years.

They meet weekly for an hour and have discussions about what they have read. Oh, and snacks.

Hernando County offers an annual Battle of the Books. The event is a countywide competition that tests reading comprehension and retention. The students read Young Readers-designated books beforehand and answer questions about them. The school will be entering again this year.

"Our school currently has the trophy," Ellis said.

Comments
Parents are buzzing about Pinellas’ newest magnet school

Parents are buzzing about Pinellas’ newest magnet school

ST. PETERSBURG — If the crowds that showed up for two open houses last week are any indication, the Pinellas County school district may have hit on a recipe that could finally turn around one of its most struggling schools.The two events drew more th...
Published: 04/26/18
Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student 'did what he had to do'

Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student 'did what he had to do'

UPDATE: The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has decided that Cpl. Richard Stackon acted properly in that incident. Sheriff Chris Nocco made that announcement at a Wednesday news conference where he also defended Stackon’s actons.   LAND O...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Hillsborough says its teachers are well-paid; the teachers say it’s not true. Who’s right?

Hillsborough says its teachers are well-paid; the teachers say it’s not true. Who’s right?

TAMPA — Seeking to show that Hillsborough County school officials waste money that could go to teacher raises, union director Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins talked about highly paid administrators. She talked about legal fees paid to outside firms when in-...
Published: 04/25/18
Converting Ridgewood High generates excitement, dismay

Converting Ridgewood High generates excitement, dismay

NEW PORT RICHEY — Chris Dunning is a bundle of energy as he greets families to Wendell Krinn Technical High School’s first open house.He talks rapid fire about the opportunities to earn college credits and gain career training while also completing a...
Published: 04/25/18
Hernando schools superintendent ‘pink-slipped’ by public following firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary

Hernando schools superintendent ‘pink-slipped’ by public following firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary

BROOKSVILLE –– A room full of people wearing purple erupted in frustration before Hernando County school officials Tuesday night, scolding Superintendent Lori Romano for her recent firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary, which has been struggling ...
Published: 04/25/18
Hernando school officials deny Chehuntamo charter school on second try

Hernando school officials deny Chehuntamo charter school on second try

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board on Tuesday denied the 2019 opening of Chehuntamo Advanced Performance High School, a charter school proposed by the same group that applied once before in 2017.The team behind the school, said to be for ...
Published: 04/25/18
Hernando School Board okays second district-wide survey to evaluate superintendent

Hernando School Board okays second district-wide survey to evaluate superintendent

BROOKSVILLE — A second district-wide survey to evaluate the performance of Superintendent Lori Romano soon will go out to about 3,000 Hernando County School District employees, giving them a chance to weigh in on the job she is doing.The instrument, ...
Published: 04/25/18
Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins is proud of his record in boosting high school graduation rates and inroads he has made in marketing the nation’s eight largest school district.His seven bosses on the School Board...
Published: 04/25/18
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions. They also said that as a result of his actions, he wil...
Published: 04/24/18
Updated: 04/25/18
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Published: 04/24/18