Cuddle Up and Read connects students with authors

As part of the Cuddle Up and Read initiative, children are given blankets and books to promote reading over video games.

Cuddle Up and Read connects students with authors
December 12
02:45 2019

Cold winds and rain showers throughout the day made the perfect backdrop for an initiative called Cuddle Up and Read at Kimberley Park Elementary School earlier this week. The initiative, led by the Beta Mu Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and author Megan Bryant, was designed to encourage young scholars to cuddle up with a warm blanket and a good book instead of video games and other electronic devices. 

As part of the initiative, every second grader received a handmade blanket and two books from Bryant’s Tiny Geniuses series. Assistant principal Janel Sharpe said the Cuddle Up and Read initiative is important because it not only provides books and blankets for students, but because it brings students in contact with published authors. 

“It makes authors seem tangible because often authors can seem distant,” Sharpe said when discussing the Cuddle Up and Read program. 

“When a student has the opportunity to connect with the person whose words they’re reading, I think that can be very powerful, so I think it’s very significant when you can have authors come into the school.” 

Before books and blankets were distributed, Bryant talked to the students about Tiny Geniuses, a series of books that follows Jake Everdale on various journeys to finish his homework and other school projects. Along the way, Jake receives help from miniature versions of iconic history-makers like Jackie Robinson, Benjamin Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Thomas Edison and others. 

When discussing her involvement with the initiative, Bryant, who has written more than 200 books, said she jumped at the opportunity to participate because the Cuddle Up and Read program is a great way to get students excited about reading. She said, “I had the privilege to be involved with this last year and it was just so beautiful to see how excited the kids were, so I’m really excited about being here again.”

Media coordinator Yvette Evans said over the past three years, several authors have been making stops at Kimberley Park, thanks to the Reading Railroad Grant, a grant offered by the local school district to spark and encourage early interest in reading. Evans said initiatives like Cuddle Up and Read and the Reading Railroad grant let students know that it’s OK to pick up a book. 

“It emphasizes the point that it’s nothing wrong with having a book in your hand and reading it,” Evans said. “They’re used to reading online or on a Nook or something, which is great, but it’s just something about having a book to actually hold in your hand and read.”

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is a professional honor society of women educators worldwide. The mission of the organization is to promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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