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Learning to love reading


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"Every one of you is a winner," Sunnyside Intermediate School Principal Brian Barrows told fourth- and fifth-grade students, a piece of pie dripping from his chin. Because the classes reached the goal of reading 16 million words in February for I Love Reading Month, the students received Smarties candies as well as the chance to watch Vander Swenson and Shaylan Brough squish a pie in Barrows' face. The original goal was 12 million words, but when students reached that threshold early, it was raised to 16 million. Students culminated 17,643,392 words through the Accelerated Reader program. Swenson accumulated 335,445 words to take top honors in fourth grade, and Brough read through 377,539 words to place first in fifth grade. Dick Fuzey's fifth-grade class read the Most words, with a total of 2,707,173 words. "When I was growing up, I didn't like to read," Barrows told students. Then, he realized that he would have to read to be successful. "I always have two books going because I love to read." Some fields aren't as dependent on reading for success in them as others, he said. "But (reading is) a vital skill that's universal throughout the world." Students also sang "Happy Birthday" to Dr. Suess and wore hats to commemorate the beloved children's author. The students got another treat, too, in the form of watching Barrows walk the halls in Bobcat colors with a dyed hair al l day. Being a diehard Grizzlies fan made the sacrifice a big one. "This is really tough to come as a Bobcat," he admitted good naturedly.


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