Donna? Read!
Lou? Read!
Everybody Read!

A couple years ago, my family moved to The Country. Our first visit to our son's elementary school let us know we weren't in the City no more. At the front entrance, a large cutout of Jeff Gordon waved to us. A word balloon instructed us to "Race Into Reading!" The rest of the school was NASCAR'd as well, with models and stickers and flags and books on racing. The first book order, he came home with a Dale Jr. punch-out book.

As I mentioned recently, March is Reading Month. The structure (can it reach snowclone status?) X Into Reading is ubiquitous, as schools struggle to find new and interesting school-wide themes. Just a quick Googling uncovers schools who:

Dive into Reading
March into Reading
Step into Reading
Dip into Reading (ice cream theme)
Rocket into Reading
Tune into Reading
Race into Reading
Escape into Reading
Get Clued In To Reading (with Inspector Digit!)

It's got to be tough for those Media Specialists who each year have to come up with the cool, motivational theme. Well, folks, never fear. Reading Month 2007 is taken care of. Bookmark this page and check back next year. Feel free to steal any of these ideas. Any attribution to SPASTIC, LLC would be appreciated.

It's Kirk. He's reading Suess' Oh, The Places You'll Go!. The whole month, the hallway is plastered with planets as kids read more and more books. For every 100 books read, the principal gets on the PA and does his Bones impression: "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a librarian!" Every kid that reads a certain number of books gets plastic Spock ears as a prize. Could be fun...
Here's a quick mockup of a hallway poster:

Kirk_and_Checkov_read copy

Baseball theme? Playground? Nope. How about a tribute to White Castle Sliders? Little square pieces of paper covering the halls with book titles kids have read written on them. The classroom with the most books read gets a field trip to the nearest Castle, as well as a visit from the Indian in Harold and Kumar (I don't remember if he played Harold or Kumar). If school meets goal, the principal gets "steamed" in all-school assembly. Bonus if you can work in very small amounts of diced onion.

This, of course, would be a month-long Tribute to the '80s heavy metal supergroup Spïnal Tap. Many books on Druids would be made available, as well as Ten Little Indians: Special Edition (the one that goes to eleven) and the Illustrated Book of Saints, which includes the oft-neglected Saint Hubbins. The month could culminate in a staged retelling of the Billy Goats Gruff, with a giant inflatable goat's head that, unfortunately, stands a good chance of deflating and suffocating a few children.

Matisyahu beat boxes softly over the PA every morning as students enjoy 20 minutes of Sustained Meditative Reading. Motivational Reading Month posters could include such icons of the Jewish faith as Madonna and Ashton Kutcher. For the goyim in the house, Fiddler on the Roof and Laverne and Shirley would be playing on a loop in the cafetorium. As students complete books, Estelle Costanza and Helen Seinfeld tell the kids they could just plotz, they're so proud, but isn't Arthur a little easy for you? Why not more of a challenge? What's wrong with a Nancy Drew once in awhile?

torahtorah_read copy


eric j. sherman said...

Funny... but as far as the Slide Into Reading... I think they prefer to be called Native Asians or Sinduians, at least, that is the PC term. I am not sure if there is a Mac term for their nationality because Mac users tend to iRead differnt.

BP said...

Suess's, Suess's, Suess's.

Native Asians? Please say you made that up. Please?

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

PC, Mac... When it comes to nationality, I try my best to follow the Tao of the Subway and avoid crossing platforms.

BP: You're not draggin' me into a possessive apostrophe smackdown. Tomaytos', tomahtos's...

BP said...

But...but, Suess isn't plural, not even arguably so. You....you....

You. Punctuate.


Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Tomatoes was a bad example. Just trying to say to each his/her own.

I was raised on AP. It's OK. Really.

I've decided to put on my to-do list a rewrite of Black-Eyed Peas' "Smells Like Funk":

If it smells like Strunk
It must be us...

That's all I have so far.

ACoolKid said...

At least it wasn't Race into Reading with Nelson Mandella or Malcom X.

And speaking of Tap, I hear Harry Shearer has a new CD out...

Kelly said...

Have you ever tried to put the umlaut over the N in Spinal Tap? I have. It can't be done. Sad.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Hey, nice catch, Kelly. Yes, tried the 'n', settled for the 'i'. Sad, yes.

Q. Pheevr said...

It should be possible to get it by writing "Spin̈al Tap," but when I preview this comment, the Unicode overstriking umlaut (̈) doesn't show up properly:

Spin̈al Tap

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Thanks, Q. That looks swell. This will come in quite han̈dy...