Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

April 1, 2010

Mission Elementary students learn reading is fun and rewarding

By B.L. Azure

Allison Dennison and Arena Porter (pink shirt) were the emcees at the Books for Bikes assembly at Mission Elementary School. (B.L. Azure photo)
Allison Dennison and Arena Porter (pink shirt) were the emcees at the Books for Bikes assembly at Mission Elementary School. (B.L. Azure photo)

ST. IGNATIUS Once you learn how to read you'll never forget how. Sort of like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget how to ride. Those two activities came together Friday in the Mission Elementary School gym when students in grades K-5 gathered to reap the rewards of reading.

The Books for Bikes assembly was the capper of the effort to encourage more reading among the elementary students. The elementary students were challenged to read more and were guaranteed a chance at winning many prizes via a drawing. Among the reading prizes were four bicycles and many smaller ones.

These young ladies smoosh together while trying to see which fifth grade class could get the most students on some carpet remnants. (B.L. Azure photo)
These young ladies smoosh together while trying to see which fifth grade class could get the most students on some carpet remnants. (B.L. Azure photo)

According to Susan Batiuchok, MEM Title 1 director, the effort was very successful in getting the youngsters to crack a few more books then they may have ordinarily. Some reaped immediate rewards of various prizes while all reaped the long lasting reward of the importance of reading.

Batiuchok said the students were able to enter one ticket in the drawing for each book they read. The more they read the greater their chances were of having their names drawn for the prizes.

The Mission Elementary School drill team entertained the students at the Books for Bikes assembly. (B.L. Azure photo)
The Mission Elementary School drill team entertained the students at the Books for Bikes assembly. (B.L. Azure photo)

The big enchilada of prizes - four bicycles - were awarded to two students (boy and girl) in Kindergarten through second grade and two students (boy and girl) in grades three through five.

The lucky winners of the drawing for the K-2 bicycles were Michael Kibler and Azia Lafrombois. The winners of the grades 3-5 bicycles were Alexis LaChance and Danny Helmer.

The bikes were purchased by funds donated by Doug Olson and Mike McLoud of the local Montana Masonic Foundation chapter and the Mission schools Indian Education Committee. The Polson WalMart store provided the bikes at a much-appreciated discount price, Batiuchok said.

The Mission Elementary fifth grade kazooers kazooed a tune that the rest of the students tried to guess the name of the tune. (B.L. Azure photo)
The Mission Elementary fifth grade kazooers kazooed a tune that the rest of the students tried to guess the name of the tune. (B.L. Azure photo)

Following the drawing were other activities for the K-5 students to pine away the time until Friday's early out dismissal.

Mission School District technology coordinator Matthew Lyon led a group of musically inclined middle school students for some pickin' and grinnin' ukulele music and sing along.

Two groups of fifth graders, one from Mr. Philips class and the other from Ms. Adams, provided some entertainment with their participation in three competitive games.

Some of the Mission Elementary students recognized the songs the kazoo and whistle band performed and were anxious to answer the name of the songs. (B.L. Azure photo)
Some of the Mission Elementary students recognized the songs the kazoo and whistle band performed and were anxious to answer the name of the songs. (B.L. Azure photo)

One game was to see which class could get the most people on two small pieces of carpet remnants, sort of like cramming people in a VW or a phone booth, remember them? It ended in a tie with each class getting 11 students on the carpet.

Another competitive event had each class perform songs on kazoos and whistles and have the younger students guess the tune. Ms. Adams class forged ahead on that event.

The ukulele band performed some sing along songs at the Books for Bikes assembly. (B.L. Azure photo)
The ukulele band performed some sing along songs at the Books for Bikes assembly. (B.L. Azure photo)

The third competition was scooter races on small-wheeled vehicles resembling skateboards. It was a close contest throughout but Ms. Adams class won by a small margin.

For their winning effort they were awarded a roving "bragging rights" trophy: a ceramic Mission School mascot Bulldog.

There was also a snazzy, jazzy performance by the fourth and fifth grade drill team, directed by Connie Trudeau and Loretta Adams.

Batiuchok expressed her gratitude for all the folks who donated to the event.

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