FORESTVILLE - Students at Forestville Elementary School noisily celebrated their reading accomplishments with a "Wide World of Sports Challenge," pitting Superintendent John O'Connor against Elementary Principal Daniel Grande. The two faced off in basketball foul shooting, a golf putting contest, a short game of table tennis, modified kayaking, a hockey shootout, and Wii boxing.
Carol McPeak-McDonald, reading teacher, opened the assembly.
"This was our 29th year of participating in the New York State Parents as Reading Partners Programs," she said. "Students, you were challenged to earn 8,888 points for this year's PARP program and you earned 9,789 reading points. That's 901 points over the goal!"
At this point, the student body, prompted by a cheer sign, exuberantly cheered.
She continued, "You also learned a great deal about a wide variety of sports facts along the way. We hope that you've enjoyed these past three weeks of PARP as much as we enjoyed planning it."
Some students with the help of their families participated in every activity. McPeak-McDonald and Gary Worosz, also a reading teacher, alternately introduced the top readers in each class. These students assisted with the events.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Top readers pose with superintendent John O’Connor (back, left) and elementary principal Daniel Grande (back, right)
High school principal Chuck Leichner served as color commentator for the events, encouraging the students to make more noise and cheer. Jack Szydlo, retired Forestville teacher, served as a referee for the events. Scott Hazelton selected appropriate music for the competitions.
All in all, it was a noisy afternoon. Students clapped, stamped and cheered as Harlem Globetrotter music, Sabres music, or the theme from "Rocky" played. While the individual competitions were often close, Mr. Grande easily won the overall competition. At times Grande employed questionable technique, as when he treated his golf putter as a pool cue to sink his putt.
It didn't really matter who won. Clearly the children were the real winners.
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