CLARKSVILLE — Children’s author Brian Cleary recently visited students at Clinton-Massie Elementary School to join in the celebration of Right to Read Week. Best known for his books that explore grammar in humorous ways, Cleary is an American humorist, poet, inventor and author.
Students began preparing for Cleary’s visit by participating in spirit week. On Monday, students celebrated sports day by wearing their favorite team shirts and jerseys. Tuesday, students wore shirts that classmates could read. Wednesday, students brought their favorite books to school to share with classmates, and Friday, it was all about the READ, white and blue.
Throughout the week, students were put on notice when the school intercom announced that everyone should “Stop, Drop, and Read” at which time everything came to a standstill while students and staff spent time together reading.
Classroom doors were decorated with student art work, and students donated 392 books that were later gifted to area children during the holidays.
When Cleary finally arrived on Friday, students gathered in the cafeteria to participate in an interactive presentation where Cleary introduced students to the works of some of his favorite writers: Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, e.e. cummings, Dr. Seuss, the Beatles, William Shakespeare, and Mohammad Ali.
Cleary invited student representatives to read aloud from famous works of poetry that showed how rhythm, rhyme, and word play impact the sound of literature, how mental images help develop structure, and how similes and metaphors bring a story to life.
Cleary also read from his own books, sharing not only the funny limericks and stories, but showing students once again how using special writing techniques can turn words on a page into a fun, and sometimes funny, adventure.
Information for this story was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.