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Article Archive >> Community

Reading incentive program 2006 helps encourage reading with a visit to Jellystone Park

Reading incentive program 2006 helps encourage reading with a visit to Jellystone Park

"Yogi Rocks!" was one of the many comments that could be heard by the 350 children from Fountain Rock Elementary School who participated in the "2005-2006 Reading Incentive Program". On Wednesday, May 31, Fountain Rock students were treated to a fun-filled day at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Williamsport that included hay rides, mini golf, a moon bounce and more. The program started in October 2005 with a presentation by the school staff, members of the Fountain Rock PTA, and the management of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park. Each student received a Yogi Bear bag that included a folder that was donated by St. James Church of Brethren with calendars to record reading times, pencils, highlighters, and treats that "Yogi Bear" himself passed out at the assembly.
The program helped encourage reading by the school students. Beginning in November, students read each week and recorded their times on their reading folder calendars. Parents signed and verified their child's folder, double-checking their reading time. Every Monday, the folders were returned to school, and volunteers checked each child's participation. The program continued into May 2006.
In order to receive some great rewards, students were requested to read outside of school from 60 minutes per week, for kindergarten students, to 120 minutes per week for the fourth and fifth grade students.
"This was a rewarding program," according to Ron Vitkun owner of Yogi Bear Jellystone Park. "At a PTA function in March at Fountain Rock, we were very pleased to be approached by two parents, who praised and thanked Jellystone Park for the program. Their children were not hooked on reading, until the start of this Reading Incentive Program. They wanted to visit Yogi Bear for the day so badly that they started to read, and they found out that they really liked reading! This is the best reward my wife Vicki and I could ever hope for."
On Friday, June 2, the treats continued for the children. Thanks to Noel Williams from Fujicolor Processing who donated a class picture with Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo and Cindy Bear for each child. "This type of event would not occur without the hard work of the Fountain Rock PTA who prepared lunch. Also, Frito-Lay helped sponsor the event, teachers and Principal Mr. Abe joined with parents who volunteered their day to help organize this event," Ron Vitkun said.
"We appreciate that there are businesses in our community that recognize the life long value of reading and step up to support this program. Thank you Yogi Bear staff," Fountain Rock Principal Mr. Abe said.

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