Pictured: Perkins student reading in a tent


Camping was the theme of the May 23rd through May 27th Perkins School Reading Week that featured fun activities for Pre-K through second grade learners to participate in.

Each day had a camping or reading theme and children, for example, on May 23rd were encouraged to dress like their favorite book character and on May 24th to wear green or brown clothing as if they were camping.

On May 23rd, guest children’s book author and illustrator author Brian Yanish visited the school and led two presentations and then made 15-minute visits to every classroom during which he and students made characters _ monsters called scrapkins _ out of recycled materials brought to the school by students. The PTA and Student Activity funds also paid for a signed book by Yanish for each Perkins student. 

Perkins School children were also read to each day by guest readers including Superintendent Susan Hasenauer, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Krista Lewis, Board of Education member Julie Nevelizer, Newark Central School District Human Resources Executive Director Dan McAlpin, Kelley School Principal Jeff Hamelinck, School Resource Officer Kevin Vaughn and Newark Mayor Jonathan Taylor and a representative from the Newark Fire Department. 

The main goal of Reading Week is to promote and build upon the love of reading among students and their families, the goal was to have Perkins School students read 1000 books and it was met. 

Students were also asked to make bookmarks about camping. The winning bookmark was made by first grader Aaron James. For his win, James received a “stack of new books” and copies of his bookmark have been given to all the children in the school. 

A Scholastic Book Fair was also held May 25th through May 27 during the day at the school in the LGI and during Literacy Night May 26 in the gymnasium. Also that evening, literacy-based activity stations were set up on the first floor including a social emotional learning area where students could create their own fidgets and a sensory room created by Kindergarten teacher Mary Ciulla, and School Social Worker Chelsea Shaw.

Newark Public Library had a station where students were signed up for library cards and learned about programs there. Books were raffled off during the evening as was a VISA gift card that was donated by the Lyons National Bank. Pizza and snacks were provided by Novem Group in Rochester. One hundred eleven students and adults attended the event. 

Reading Week was planned by a committee of teachers and other staff including: Perkins Reading teacher Mikey Davanzo, who organized the event along with Librarian Assistant Kelly Puckett; K-5 Librarian Gwen Curtis; Kindergarten teachers Beth James and Ciulla; first grade teachers Jill Manuel and Amanda Quku; Reading teachers Danielle Watt and Meaghan Trevvett; second grade teacher Olivia Renner, ENL teacher Henrietta Binda, Reading teacher assistant Cari Taylor and Shaw.