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Beach theme let’s Gurnee students read for pleasure

OliviWong (left) 9 DiyTibrewal9 both Gurnee wear sunglasses lay beach towels during 'Reading Fun Sun' WoodlIntermediate School Gurnee. They are

Olivia Wong (left), 9, and Diya Tibrewala, 9, both of Gurnee, wear sunglasses and lay on beach towels during "Reading Fun in the Sun" at Woodland Intermediate School in Gurnee. They are students in the 4th grade class of teacher Ellyce Baynes. | Thomas Delany Jr.~ Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 14, 2012 1:35AM

GURNEE — Students spread out their beach towels, put on sunglasses, hats and other beach-inspired wear to curl up with a book for half an hour Friday.

Woodland Intermediate School brought back its schoolwide Reading Rally for the second year, with Friday the first of four scheduled for the 2012-13 school year, according to Kerry Neahous, Reading Counts Committee member and school librarian.

“The reading rally is where everybody is able to take half an hour out of their schedule and just read for pleasure. It’s really neat — it’s catching on now. The kids are so scheduled that they don’t just get a time to read whatever they like,” Neahous said.

This school year’s premiere Reading Rally had a beach theme. Students were invited to bring and wear beach gear such as sunglasses, hats and visors to get into the reading spirit.

A beach ball was tossed around the school’s library, Neahous said.

Woodland Intermediate students like Gillian Tauler, 9, got to read a book of their choice for 30 straight minutes.

Gillian chose “The Ghost of Graylock” by Dan Poblocki, a story about a haunted hospital.

The fourth-grade student said Reading Rally replaced a math session Friday.

“I think it’s good because I’m not the best at math. This is replacing math and I like to read,” Gillian said.

Her teacher, Ellyce Baynes, said that she knew her students were enjoying the Reading Rally because they were so quiet during the half-hour block.

“Especially at this age, to me, this is really the years they start to learn to read. If they can find things to interest them, they will continue to read,” Baynes said.

Like other Woodland teachers, Baynes read a book of her choosing for half an hour. Last year, guests were invited to read silently along with the students.

Because the first Reading Rally happened so early in the school year, guest readers were not able to make it Friday. There is interest for the next one in November, Neahous said.

Reading Rallies are scheduled for early dismissal days.

“Literacy is the foundation of learning and development for our children,” said Principal Michael Witkowski. “Our reading rallies promote healthy reading habits across our entire school and we look forward to seeing this program grow for years to come.”

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