The First grade class had a huge turnout for their Readers Cafe. It was held February 12th in the Elementary Library from 5 - 6:30. The Readers Cafe is the first grade’s annual fundraiser. It is an evening for parents, teachers, and community members to come enjoy fine reading selections from first grade students. The students are encouraged to dress up in their finest clothes for the elegant event. When people enter the library, they are allowed to take a seat and have a waiter sent to their table to take their “order” for the reader of their choice. When the reader is finished reading, they give their guest a receipt. That person then pays at the end of the night for all the “listening they have done”. For each child’s reading selection it costs $5.00 or by donation. It is a great way to get the students reading aloud and raise money at the same time. A student could have as many as 15 requests to read! The students were really excited about the Readers’ Cafe and they swelled with pride each time someone asked for them to read.
The week before the event several first graders went with their teachers around the square personally inviting community members from First State Bank, Mason National Bank, the Commercial Bank, the City Office, Lions Club, and Market Square. There was also an advertisement in the Mason County News inviting anyone who would like to be a part of the Readers Cafe and have a child read to them. Thanks to our outstanding and supportive community the first grade class raised close to $2,000.00! This money will allow every student to go on several field trips that we have planned and every first grader will get a Mason Puncher T-shirt. One fun field trip we have planned is our community day. We will visit several local businesses such as the post office, a local restaurant, and a local bank. We will have lunch on the court house lawn and end the day with a movie at Mason’s own Odeon Theatre. The First Graders have also been participating in the Book It! program from Pizza Hut which encourages children to read by rewarding them with a personal pizza. We will be taking a trip to Fredericksburg Pizza Hut to make sure they each get to enjoy their personal pizza which they have worked so hard for this year.
In addition to field trips, t-shirts and other fun stuff, the first grade class is going to purchase at least one tree for their playground. As much of our community knows, Mason Elementary is in the process of becoming a “Leader in Me” school. The “Leader in Me” teaches children the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. This wonderful program encourages community service, and buying a tree will be a great way for the First Graders to give back to their community! This will be First Grade’s community service project. Part of this project will involve researching the best choice of tree for our playground. We plan on planting the tree on Arbor Day, April 26th. Our first graders will water it and take care of it the rest of the school year. They will be able to see this tree grow with them throughout their years in school. Heather Baker, Susy Walker, and I would like to thank everyone who helped make our Readers Cafe a success. We look forward to next year’s Readers Cafe.