Trailside goes beyond reading to pie throwing
For the past six weeks Trailside Elementary students have been throwing pies at their teachers.
As a reward for completing the three hours of reading required by the national Books and Beyond program students entered their names in a drawing for an opportunity to throw a pie at a teacher. Every Friday students have gathered on the field to witness the pie throwing, that typically included one teacher.
Last week marked the culmination of the program with 11 teachers getting pies the face. As children stood near the field chanting, "in the face, in the face," their peers lined up their shots and put pies squarely in the faces of Trailside teachers.
For the annual Books and Beyond program Trailside also kept track of the students’ progress by marking it on a bulletin board. Those students in first through fifth grades were required to read a half hour a day, for six hours a week. Kindergarteners were asked to read an hour and a half each week.
"There was definitely excitement to watch the board and see if their name got picked," said Physical Education teacher Dan Meier.
Meier coordinated the finale and said he wanted to get as many teachers to volunteer so the children would have a better chance of getting to throw a pie.
Upon completing their weekly reading, students got to enter the drawing and were also given small prizes such as pencil sharpeners. Students who completed their reading for all six weeks of the program earned certificates that allow them to buy a book at the schools book fair.
Fifth-grade teacher Sheri Johnson said the program helps to reinforce reading habits that are already in place.
"My kids read anyway, regardless. Most kids do, it’s just on top of what they’re doing already," she said.
Kevrine Wells, a parent volunteer, said the program helps to encourage leisure reading.
"It makes reading at home fun by providing an extra incentive," she said.
Sonja Spenser, a second grader, said she typically reads every night at home. She said she looks forward to the illustrations the most because her favorite part is, "seeing the pictures. Some are painted, some are in crayon."
Parent volunteer Janet Myshrall said having a pie throwing each week with a large grand finale helped students maintain their interest.
"The excitement just continued to grow," she said, adding it can sometimes taper off.
Myshrall likes the Books and Beyond program and said other parents feel similarly.
"I get a lot of positive feedback from this, anything that helps the kids watch less television is positive," she said.
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Buses, trains and gondolas doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but they make up the transit alternatives for the mountain transportation system the Central Wasatch Commission is trying to create, mostly in the Cottonwood canyons.