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Reading meets Hula
'Splish Splash Reading is a Blast' at Claxton Elem.
W Reg Hawaii
Claxton Elementary kindergarten teacher Brook Hendrix, her paraprofessional Ashton NeeSmith, and her Georgia Southern University student teacher Lydia Jones teach the children how to do a Hula dance while listening to Hawaiian music. Pictured, left to right, front row: Tomiya Ivey, Christian Hunter, Billy Anderson, Precious Hines and Natalie Bass. Back row, left to right, Hendrix, NeeSmith and Jones. - photo by CRYSTAL WALKER/Staff

       CLAXTON - Claxton Elementary School's students and teachers marked their annual reading celebration with a kick-off and pep rally.
      Each year, the school has a new reading theme with various celebrations, events, and rewards relating to the theme throughout the year. This year's theme is "Splish Splash Reading is a Blast."
      High school cheerleaders and football players helped conduct the pep rally, said Phyllis Anthony, media specialist and coordinator of the reading program. The kick-off included events such as a GSU student teachers' dance number to a Beach Boys tune, a group of teachers performing in a reading theater, and 4th and 5th grade boys performing a Jamaican number.
      Throughout the day, teachers conducted theme-related educational activities in their classrooms, Anthony said.
      Some students created sea scenes with graham crackers, some did graphing activities with fish, some heard theme-related stories, and some sorted fish into color and size categories, she said. Some even made their own grass hula skirts.
      The school-wide goal for this year is to read 100,000 books, Anthony said. She is in charge of keeping track of students' individual progress. Progress is measured monthly and rewards are given based on their individual goals and reading accomplishments.
      The ultimate goal, she said, is to receive an invitation to the year-end event called the Reading Splash-tacular. Each student who reaches their monthly goals will be invited to attend.
      "The kick-off was just the first of many reading celebration events to come throughout the year," Anthony said.