Editor's Note: This article and the accompanying photo was submitted by the McLean Woman's Club.
On Friday, Sept. 14, at McLean’s Lemon Road Elementary School, the Woman’s Club of McLean hosted an awards party with pizza and ice cream for students in the school’s summer reading program. The club presented a $20 gift certificate for books to three of the children, selected by lot, one from Grades 1 and 2, one from Grades 3 and 4 and the third from Grades 5 and 6, and every student in the program got a “goody bag” of school supplies.
About 50 kids have participated in the program in each of the last 2 years, compared with only 30 in 2010. From the end of each school year until fall -- a period of 62 days this year -- the students keep a log of the time they spend reading. The ideal, according to Karla Barnes, Lemon Road’s reading specialist, is for a child to read at least two-thirds of the summer. Reading for as little as 30 or 40 minutes a day “counts.”
The purpose of the program, according to Mrs. Barnes, is to encourage reading, a definite priority at the school: Lemon Road’s motto this year is “Reading takes you everywhere.” As the kids were finishing their ice cream, Principal Andrew Camarda addressed them about the importance of reading. “Reading develops the imagination,” he said, and “imagination helps us create new things.”
The program at Lemon Road can be considered an institution, having been administered by the Woman’s Club and the school since the early 1990s.