WCHCS literacy project ‘webs’ over 50,000

By Jennifer Woods - jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com

The Washington Court House City School (WCHCS) District has reached over 50,000 people so far on Facebook through a reading of E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” leading into “Literacy Night 2020.”

During February, preschool through fifth grade WCHCS students are all reading the book. Each chapter of the book is also being read by a “celebrity guest” from the community and the video of those readings are being shared through social media.

School officials are encouraging students and anyone interested in tuning into the videos to listen or read along.

Trevor Patton, WCHCS director of marketing and communication, explained that the outreach so far has made “it by far the largest literacy project in Fayette County history.”

“We have had folks across the country and even a few overseas reach out to tell us how excited they are to be able to be connected to their ‘home’ and participate no matter where they are,” wrote Patton in an email.

The end event — Literacy Night 2020, is set for March 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School. Although anyone is welcome to tune into the videos, the literacy night is for Cherry Hill and Belle Aire Intermediate students and their families.

The night has been titled, “The Washington C.H. City Schools County Fair.” There are several activities planned including farm photos, barnyard bingo, Wilbur’s word scramble, Fern’s face painting, Lurvy’s estimation station, Belle Aire Student Council’s pet supply drive, an art studio, Idle-Hour Ranch Petting Zoo, Mr. Zuckerman’s Tractor, etc.

According to Patton, the book, along with the events, have been planned by the literacy teams at Cherry Hill and Belle Aire. Natalie Waddle and Michelle Gernert from Belle Aire led last year’s literacy night. Joining in the planning for this year are Susan Eckles, Heidi Robertson, Kay Kimmet and Kitten Richards from Cherry Hill.

According to Waddle, a third grade teacher at Belle Aire, their goal with this event is to bring students, families and the community together with a good book.

“By reading, we are exposed to so many wonderful things,” wrote Waddle in an email. “Books can take us anywhere we want to go. WCHCS values reading and wants our students to become lifelong readers. Literacy Night allows our students to step into the world of the characters they’ve come to know and love. It brings the book to life.”

“We would like to not only thank these literacy teams for all of their hard work but all of our guest readers from the community, teachers from the WCHCS district, First State Bank, Carnegie Public Library, guests from the Fayette County OSU Extension Office, visitors from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation Office,” wrote Waddle.

According to Patton, “Celebrity Guest Readers” so far have included WCHCS Superintendent Tom Bailey, 1st Lieutenant Trevor Patton (Havoc Troop, 2nd-107th Cavalry Regiment), WCHCS Director of Curriculum and Instruction (6-12) Stacy Forby, First Presbyterian Church Pastor Gray Marshall, Carnegie Public Library Head of Children’s Services Anne Quinn, Washington Fire Department Chief Tim Downing, Family Dentistry Dr. Christy Wall, Principal of Belle Aire Intermediate School Jeff Conroy, local author and illustrator Amanda Gatton, Involvement Minister of South Side Church of Christ Pastor Todd Mauer, and WHS Vocal Music Director Jared Joseph.

This week’s “Celebrity Guests,” according to Patton, are Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Andy Bivens, Washington High School senior Brooklynn Stanley, Crossroads Christian Church Youth Minister Caleb Baumgardner, along with the Waddle Family.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.


By Jennifer Woods