(Not in order) Principal Rob Lupisella, Librarian Holly Mullin, Library Aide Jennifer Morsch, Teachers Luke Weaver, Lunch Monitor Mick LeFever, Teachers Aide Rob Richmond, and Superintendent Bruce Amey.
Avon Central School
Students keep reading while teachers get mohawks
For the 11th consecutive year, Avon Primary School celebrated PARP (Parents/People as Reading Partners) with a March reading event which culminated last Thursday, March 24, in a shaving assembly.
In the course of the month, students in grades K–4 logged well over 175,000 minutes of home reading time. In recognition of that effort, school faculty and staff members consented to adopt the hair styling of the school’s mascot, the Avon Brave, who himself has come to symbolize the school’s theme of “visualizing success.”
Those subjecting themselves to the stylists’ shears in front of the assembly of readers included Principal Rob Lupisella, Librarian Holly Mullin, Library Aide Jennifer Morsch, Third Grade teacher Luke Weaver, lunch monitor Mick LeFever, teacher aide Rob Richmond, Superintendent Bruce Amey and (belatedly on Friday) P.E. teacher Andy Braun.
The hair stylist volunteers who created the Mohawks were Melissa Reid, Emily Baker, Shannon Cooper, Linda Shaw, Olivia Altieth and Amanda Steele. The stylists were accompanied by recorded music as they performed their tasks, the students watching in rapt attention. Each subject was shaved and teased in about two minutes. Several received a touch of green dye.
With the exception of the superintendent, all had a firm foundation of hair from which to shape their Mohawks. Amey required a taped-on “build-up,” what Holly Mullin referred to as a “faux-hawk.”
“Our haircuts will symbolize what a fantastic job you have done as great Avon Braves with your reading,” Mullin told the students. “As you know, our school mascot is the Avon Braves head, and he’s sporting a Mohawk. So what better way to celebrate your successful reading, than with a haircut that honors our very own Avon Brave!”
Most of the subjects kept their Mohawks at least through Friday.
Librarian Mullin was coordinator of the reading project among the grades. There was no restriction on topics. Whatever reading material was available in the household was fair game to be read.
Logged reading times included reading to oneself, reading to other members of the family, and being read to by another member of the family. Almost every student logged 15-to-20 minutes each day, while many logged 45-plus minutes.
As part of their reading curricula, the library classes had spent time with author/illustrator Roger Essley, who explained how to visualize parts of a story and draw those ideas on a storyboard. Musicians Bart and Kevin told about the power of lyrics in visualizing the feeling of songs. Artist Colin Coots will be showing students how to solve problems by visualizing and thinking things through – not only in art, but in life.
“It is the hope of your teachers, Mr. Lupisella, and me that you learn to love listening to books and stories; writing, reading, storytelling, and develop such a love for reading that will last your whole lifetime,” Mullin told the students.
Reading is important, she said, because it will improve your communication, fluency, vocabulary, spelling and writing skills; help develop your critical thinking skills and the ability to make good decisions for yourself; introduce you to new things and broaden your interests; increase your attention span, and develop your creativity.