At Our Lady of Good Counsel School, reading has its rewards and ‘penalties’
This article was originally published on 3/10/2016 by the Hawaii Catholic Herald.
By Ginger Kamisugi
Special to the Herald
Reading — besides enlightening, instructing and delighting the reader — has a number of additional fun and unexpected rewards at Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Pearl City.
Each year, school librarian Heidi Valencia challenges the students to read a certain number of books for her annual read-a-thon. Each grade has its own goal, which takes into consideration the age of each class. They have three months to reach their goal.
This year’s school goal was 8,000 books. The students exceeded that goal by more that 800!
Because of their success, the students were rewarded with a fun day on Feb. 2, Tuesday in Catholic Schools’ Week.
As the day began, the weather temporarily put some of the activities on hold, but the sun eventually came out to everyone’s delight.
The students enjoyed enormous bouncers and bungee challenging obstacles, plus tons of games, and face painting, too. New this year, and the hit of the day, were the pony rides.
“Real ponies?” the children asked with wide eyes filled with anticipation when they were told of the addition of a new reward. Each year, Mrs. Valencia tries to change things up and add new rewards. She knows how hard the students have worked to fulfill the reading challenge.
The faculty and staff are not sure which the children enjoy more, their rewards, or the “penalties” the school librarian and school principal must endure when the goal is met.
In the past, their “punishment” has included pies being thrown at them, wearing duck suits while water balloons were tossed at them, being made into living ice-cream sundaes and being dunked in water.
The one “fine” imposed on the librarian and principal that everyone enjoys the most is having them banished to the roof for 24 hours. This year, two teachers agreed to take the place of principal Cindy Olaso who was unable to participate. When Mrs. Valencia stepped onto the roof at 9 a.m., Feb. 2, there to suffer alongside her was seventh grade teacher Tori Bautista.
Later in the afternoon, second grade teacher Chantelle Enos took Mrs. Bautista’s place. Miss Enos and Mrs. Valencia remained on the roof until 9 a.m. the next morning. Keeping watch overnight and giving his support was fifth grade teacher Warren Cabading.
At night, students and their families brought dinner, which they enjoyed on the playground blacktop while looking up at the two perched up on the roof. Computer teacher Dave Quevedo serenaded the group on his guitar with Mr. Cabading joining in.
Regarding the read-a-thon, Mrs. Valencia said, “The read-a-thon has been going on for over 12 years. We enjoy doing this because of the kids, who look forward to it every year.”
Well, we don’t know how she is going to top this year, because the talk around the school is, “What’s Mrs. Valencia planning for next year?”