On Wednesday, May 30, Tyler Elementary students and Reading Mentors involved in the Everybody Wins! DC’s (EW!DC) Power Lunch Program were in for a special treat at the Library of Congress for their End of Year celebration. After receiving a tour of the Library, students joined their Reading Mentors in the Mumford Room for a celebration and pizza party to remember. (Left picture: Asia Bates-Young and her Reading Mentor Leslie Coppler from the House Committee on Science and Technology).
Throughout the celebration, the students and Reading Mentors were applauded for their hard work this school year. Roberta Shaffer, associate librarian for Library Services, told students that with the help of reading, they will one day be “big people who will make a big difference in the world.” Shaffer then led the audience in a rendition of “If you’re happy and you know it, read a book,” to which students enthusiastically cheered “read a book.”
The students were also treated to a performance by Pirate Pete and Calico Jenny, who taught the audience members how to be a pirate. Students and Reading Mentors sang along with the pirates and mastered the notorious pirate call “Argh.” Once students mastered the art of being a pirate, the Assistant Principal of Tyler Elementary, Sean Bender, thanked the mentors for being excellent role models for the children. Bender also thanked EW!DC for its hard work and said that before the Power Lunch Program began during the 2009-2010 school year, only 14 percent of Tyler students were reading at or above grade level. Now, thanks to the Power Lunch Program, 24 percent of students are reading at or above grade level, a number he is hoping will double in the near future.
An end of year celebration would not be complete without recognizing all of the fifth graders who are graduating from the Power Lunch Program. Amy Oberhelman, current Government Affairs team member from Target, who is the Lead Mentor Corporate Sponsor for the Power Lunch program at Tyler Elementary as well as for two other schools, helped assist in the awarding of the medals for the fifth graders. (Left picture: Target's Amy Oberhelman, John Cole from Center for the Book and EW!DC's Mary Salander).
The ceremony concluded once Lindsay Bader, EW!DC’s School Coordinator (and VISTA Member) for Tyler, announced that students and mentees read a total 893 books during this school year! The Tyler Elementary Year End Celebration was also supported by the Capitol Hill Foundation.
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