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Lynn’s Shoemaker celebrates summer reading stars

LYNN – When Shoemaker Elementary students gathered Friday for the wrap-up of the summer reading program, it was all about the words – how many were read, how many were counted and how much money was raised for each one recorded.”Of course I like to read,” said Samantha McManus, throwing her hands up at what was clearly a ridiculous question. “Why not?”McManus was just one of dozens of students who took home a certificate and a bookmark for taking part in the school’s summer reading program. She was also one of a slightly smaller group who took home medals for participating in the school’s summer read-a-thon.Dawn Kwiatek, who heads up the program, said she thought there might have been fewer participants than in the past, but Principal Patricia Riley thought otherwise. Once all the students gathered in the auditorium, teachers began to call out the names of those who participated. Very few were left sitting in the center of the room.”Last year I put out a challenge that we would fill the whole perimeter of the gym and we did that,” Riley said, looking at the long line of students. “My challenge for next year is that I want no one left sitting on the floor.”After the medals and certificates came the individual awards, in which students in each grade picked up gift certificates for being the top reader or top fundraiser, and there were a few overall winners as well.Top fundraisers included: kindergartner Brady Cole, $105; first-grader Emma Zukowski, $120; second-grader Catherine Ball, $200; third-grader Kyle McKenna, $80; fourth-grader Julia Downey, $100; fifth-grader Sean Leonard, $80; and Samantha McManus, COACH program, $17.75.The overall winner, however, was first-grader Denzel Ancrum, who collected $205 for his reading efforts, which won him a $40 Barnes & Noble gift card. The top family fundraising award went to Drew and Cole MacKinnon, who together raised $170 and picked up a $50 movie gift certificate and $25 each to Barnes & Noble.It was room 118 that took the top class fundraising prize, an ice cream party, for the second year in a row.When it came to reading, there was another batch of big winners.Kindergartner Joseph Holland read 1,019 minutes; first-grader Amelia Stank read 1,380 minutes; second-grader Luke Denning read 1,627 minutes; third-grader Andrew Potter read 908 minutes; fifth-grader Eric Olson read 2,130 minutes; and COACH student McManus read 355 minutes.”Now I can get my pizza,” said McManus, who, like all the winners, took home a $10 gift card for Fauci Pizza.Altogether, the students raised $3,093.32, and though not everyone submitted the number of minutes read, of the 58 who did, Kwiatek said they read a total of 538 hours. She said it’s tough sometimes to get the kids to report the number of minutes read because they read whenever the moment strikes them, and they don’t always write it down. She is thinking that next year she might have kids track the number of books read instead.”But the most important thing is what?” Riley asked students, who shouted back, “Reading.””It’s the start of the year, and you’re going to read, read, read,” she added.Kwiatek and Riley both said they were happy with the outcome. Riley said it’s important for the kids to read over the summer to maintain skills and be ready to get back to work in the fall.”We’re off to a good start,” she said.

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