Guest readers share stories at SDSA

Date Published: 
November 18, 2016

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Principal Heather Bethurum reads to Nichele Lobo’s third-graders at SDSA.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Principal Heather Bethurum reads to Nichele Lobo’s third-graders at SDSA.Any book will do. When Nichele Lobo invites special guests to read to her third-grade classroom, she doesn’t care which book they choose.

“If you’re reading something you enjoy … [you’ll] bring it to life,” said Lobo, a teacher at Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

Because students didn’t have school in mid-November, Lobo’s class celebrated National Young Readers Week a week early. That meant a week’s worth of special guests, sharing new stories with both third-grade classes.

Guests bring a book that is special to themselves or their own children. The students connect the stories to their own lives and classroom lessons.

On Nov. 1, Principal Heather Bethurum read the book “We Gather Together … Now Please Get Lost!” by Diane DeGroat, about a young opossum getting stuck with a class partner he doesn’t like.

The students shared what morals they got from the story: “Be thankful,” “Be a good friend” and “Treat others how you’d want to be treated.”

“One of the things I like best about books is everyone gets different things out of the story,” Bethurum said.

Guests are kept a surprise until they walk through the classroom door. By the weeks’ end, children are guessing who might appear next. Past readers have included the school counselor, reading specialist, district superintendent, local librarians and police officers.

“I kind of invite a variety … so kids see someone they see in a specific role in a different light,” Lobo said.

This is also Lobo’s second year participating in the BOOK IT! program, sponsored by Pizza Hut. Children who read 20 minutes a day can win rewards, such as a free personal-size pizza, she said.

Lobo is always encouraging youth to read. The incentives help too, such as the prizes and “brag tags,” or badges her students keep on a key ring for reaching certain goals in the classroom.