Union Intermediate School students looked up at a life-size image of Captain America as they entered the gym on Thursday. The Avenger is famous for his powers to defeat bad guys, but the teachers want students to know that they can become super by becoming “Super Readers.”
The school held a reading and literacy night on Thursday, which incorporated a hero theme. It featured incentives for reading, activities and prizes. Since the beginning of school year, superheroes have been posted throughout the building.
Jacklyn Sanchez, a fifth grader, said it was an awesome event and had a good time with her friends. She had the opportunity to do a lot of activities centered around reading. Her schoolmate Haylie Freeman felt the same way.
“It’s important to learn how to read so you can get a good education and go to a good college and get a good job,” Haylie said.
Fifth-grader Brenda Gutierrez said the students are learning how to spell words in the process, with the help of teachers at Union Intermediate.
“In education, when you do a test or something and you don’t know how to read, you’re not going to know how to do the questions,” Brenda said.
Wearing a Superman T-shirt, teacher Anthony Butler looked around the Union Intermediate School gym and saw a lot of students excited about reading. For him, it was a knockout, or in comic book terms —“Kapow!” He helped students draw superhero characters using geometric shapes.
“We’re not just talking the basic shapes,” Butler said. “We’re talking pentagons and trapezoids. It’s really good for these kids and it goes right along with their course of study and math standards.”
Principal Jim Workman was pleased with a lot of people showing up for the reading project led by Sandra Peterson, a language arts teacher.
“Our staff has worked very hard together to put this together and it paid off,” Workman said. “We had an outpouring of community support.”
Workman stressed that the teachers want the students to have a positive thought about reading and being super at it.
“We know that literacy is a problem throughout the county and the state and we hope that this superhero theme encourages students to think positively about superheroes and being super-readers,” he said. That’s what we want to do here.”
Tanya Robinson-Freeman, health and physical education teacher, helped with superhero stances such as flying and sticking the chest out.
“We’ve been talking to the kids about being a superhero in their own rights and just pumping up character education,” Robinson-Freeman said. “We know that this is going to be an incredible year for Union Intermediate School. The expectations are high this year.”
Stephen Ameen, an intern from East Carolina University, and volunteer Cheryl Johnson, helped with the posing too.
“It’s been a real good success so far,” Ameen said. “It’s a good way to get them engaged and show them that reading is fun.”
Many family members appreciated the event and enjoyed the superhero style event. Grandparent Sonny Herring attended with his grandson Cyrus Crumpler. The 10-year-old had fun at the event and enjoys writing.
“I think it’s very important to do that,” Herring said. “You got to make it interesting to them.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.