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Students to hop aboard the reading train

ANTRIM — Antrim Elementary School will host a “Polar Express” program at the school Wednesday for an evening of reading and activities.

The theme of the night is “All aboard the reading train,” and children are encouraged to wear warm pajamas like the children in the popular film wore on the train to the North Pole. Fourth grade Antrim Elementary teacher Brianne Bastarache said Wednesday that the entrance to the school will look like a train station and train tracks will lead families to different classrooms with activities.

Sponsored by the Parent-Teacher Organization for the school, the family night will be held to promote reading and expose students and their families to the ongoing Scholastics Book Fair, an annual event in which Scholastic visits with books and other supplies for sale.

For each activity a student participates in, they will receive a punch on their Polar Express ticket. According to Bastarache, there will be two books read aloud , one at 5:30 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. Families can reserve five minute reading blocks with Mozart, the tail-waggin’ tutor companion dog, at the event. There will be face painting, crafts and a classroom full of train sets. Bastarache also said the school will have the film “The Polar Express” playing throughout the night.

All Antrim Elementary students, siblings and families are invited to participate in this free event, as well as local home-schooled children and their families. The event will take place from 5 until 6:30 p.m., and lots of healthy snacks will be available.

A percentage of book fair sales will go to the school once the fair ends Dec. 13. Bastarache said that if the school accepts the money in the form of Scholastic money, they will get 50 percent off their next order to Scholastic . In the past, she said the school bought a sound system from Scholastic to use at assemblies. If the school accepts the money in cash, then they receive a smaller percentage of the sales. The school has also done this before, and Bastarache said the school has used the money to buy playground equipment and to pay for their field day.

The book fair begins Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and is open until 4:30 p.m., and will also be open before the event on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. On Dec. 12, the fair is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and again on Dec. 13 from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Bastarache said the school will initiate a reading challenge this Friday to the entire student body. The goal is 1,000 minutes of reading combined from all participating students. Students will need to keep track of their reading using logs that the school will distribute. The deadline is Dec. 13, and the minutes recorded will be tallied over the weekend by the Parent-Teacher Organization. “If the school meets their goal, the whole school gets a special healthy snack on [Dec. 16],” Bastarache said.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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