Sacred Heart students encouraged to Run Away With a Good Book
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
February 19, 2004
Students at Sacred Heart School in Sioux City were encouraged to Run Away
With a Good Book during the school's third annual read-a-thon that kicked off on
Terry Comstock, physical education teacher at Sacred Heart, pointed out that
after the school's parent support group had selected the Run Away With a Good
Book sports theme, they asked him to organize this year's event.
"An event like this gets the students excited to read. If they can see
that reading can be fun, then maybe they will do it more on their own
time," he noted.
Various activities were organized for the read-a-thon kick-off. One of the
most popular was a relay race for the teachers. This activity kicked off with a
mini-parade for the teachers similar to the parade of athletes during the
Ten student athletes - five from Bishop Heelan High School and five from
Briar Cliff University - were on hand to read to kindergarten through
fourth-graders. The older students had quiet reading on their own.
"It is good for the younger students to see how important education is
to the athletes that they look up to," noted Comstock. "They are
students first, athletes second."
The student athletes enjoyed the experience as much as the younger students.
Mike Rickord, a junior at Heelan who is a golfer, pointed out that he
remembered how excited he was as a grade school student when high school
students visited his school.
"The kids were great," he said. "They liked to read along with
me. I had fun doing it."
Tommy Mousel, a senior who plays baseball and basketball, said he volunteered
to read to the younger students because it is good to be a positive role model.
"The kids seemed to look up to us," he said. "And maybe if
they see us reading they will know it's important."
Adi Cizmic, a senior basketball player, said it was fun to read to the
"I was surprised because most of the kids in my group could read and
they are only in kindergarten," he said. "I was really
The afternoon included a TaeKwonDo demonstration, skit by the music teacher
and concluded with a variety of games. Some of the games were hulahoop contest,
barrel racing, miniature golf challenge and free-throw contest.
In order to have a comfortable setting conducive to sitting down with a good
book, students were allowed to bring beanbags, stuffed animals and so forth.
Janell Darwin, a seventh grade student at Sacred Heart, said it was good to
have time to read as well as time to hang out with her friends. Having her video
rocker chair on hand, provided for a relaxed atmosphere to rack up points for
Lucas Britton, a fifth grade student, said, "It's been a great place to
read and have a little break from school."
After the afternoon of activities on Feb. 13, Sacred Heart students
participated and earned points for reading through Feb. 20.
Last year the read-a-thon took on a Lewis and Clark theme.