PENDLETON — A s’more has some needed ingredients, such as marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. The folks at Fricano Primary added a few more, including Principal Bonnie Wander.
As a reward for their efforts during the annual Parents As Reading Partners program, the 600-plus Starpoint students saw Wander transformed Wednesday into a human s’more. Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallow fluff included.
Becoming a popular camping treat is just the latest reading incentive Wander has offered to the Fricano Primary students. Over the past few years Wander has kissed a cow, become a hamburger, gotten slimed, become a Jackson Pollock painting, wrapped into a mummy and turned into a cake.
But it’s all worth it, said Wander.
“It’s a good motivator,” she said, still wearing most of the s’more ingredients. “And they get so excited about it. They start talking about it on the first day of school and they don’t stop talking about it all year.”
PARP is a three-week program that encourages kids to read at home, which is what they had to do at least 20 minutes every day for the past three weeks. Art teacher Patrick Root said Fricano often has 100 percent participation from the kids.
The school’s kindergarten, first- and second-grade students must keep track of their reading with a daily log. Each night they read their 20 minutes, kids get to fill in a section of the PARP mural. It was filled within two weeks.
Kids were given daily reminders on the morning announcements by Mr. Bear, the school’s mascot.
“It’s the highlight of the year for them, they get so excited,” Root said.
Starpoint’s PARP program won some recognition for the second straight year. Root said Fricano won “Best PARP” from the state Parents Teachers Association again.
Educational entertainer Glenn Colton performed a number of songs, including his well known “Ducky Wucky” song. Kids liked the song, as seen by they’re singing along and dancing. Colton also played some rock and roll, even some disco.
One song in particular needed some help from the kids. Played to the tune of the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” Colton played a song reminding kids to do good things like recycling, eating their vegetables and listening to their teachers.
Following Colton’s performance, Root and Starpoint Superintendent C. Douglas Whelan led a group of “campers,” Fricano faculty and staff, through instructions on campsite safety. Those instructions included how to put together a s’more.
Root asked the kids if the kids enjoyed reading.
“Yes!” was the loud response.
But keep it up, Root said to the kids.
“You should keep reading,” he said. “You can learn a lot and have fun.”
Contact reporter Joe Olenickat 439-9222, ext. 6241.