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Reading gives Shaler Area students change of pace

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:04 p.m.
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Shaler Area students Elementary students in fourth thru sixth grades who read at least 25 books or more this school year got the chance to take part in a variety of special activities.
Submitted
Shaler Area students Elementary students in fourth thru sixth grades who read at least 25 books or more this school year got the chance to take part in a variety of special activities, including this climbing wall.
Submitted
Shaler Area elementary students even got the chance to dunk some of their favorite, or not so favorite, teachers during the day of festivities.

Shaler Area Elementary School students in the fourth through sixth grade celebrated the end of the “Blazing a Titan Trail: A Reading Adventure,” a reading incentive program, with a slight detour from the usual day of special activities.

Last week, close to 1,000 students who read 25 books or more over the course of the school year spent the day participating in a variety of activity stations on campus grounds, as opposed to Millvale Riverfront Park, which was unavailable this year because of an Alcosan construction project on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

Students learned to cast fishing lines from state Fish & Boat Commission representatives, had the opportunity to soak teachers in a dunk tank, completed activities with the Carnegie Science Center staff and played on inflatables.

The school also substituted a walk around the neighborhoods near the school for the usual walk along the river on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

“I think it's become part of our culture,” Judy Deer, a fifth-grade teacher, said of the “Titan Trail” initiative and celebration day. “We value reading … and they get excited about it.”

Student across the grade levels also were recognized for reading 1 million words or more over the course of the year. This year, 136 students reached the milestone.

“They seem to want to increase their goal each year,” said Suzanne Flynn, school librarian. “It's amazing to see kids wanting to walk around with books. This is a school that reads.”

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