BIDWELL — River Valley Middle School celebrated the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe during their annual Right to Read Week (Nov. 2-6).
With the theme, “Take a Bite out of Books,” the week’s activities focused on the horror/suspense genres, with fun dress up days and school decorations. All week, students were greeted by cobwebs and spooky bulletin boards that offered information about the event’s activities and Poe’s biography and works.
Daily activities and lessons in language arts classes also highlighted these tales, while focusing on major literary components already being covered in class. Several other subject areas also incorporated the week’s theme into their lessons to help students appreciate the cross-curricular benefits of literacy.
On Monday, the teachers wore colorful masks to align with the masquerade setting of Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.” Monday evening’s parent-teacher conferences were augmented by employees of Bossard Memorial Library who hosted a booth to encourage local families to sign up for library cards.
Wednesday was “Zombie Day,” on which teachers and students came wearing make-up and costumes, with the best zombie actors being selected to travel from room to room as a cohort to “haunt” each class.
Thursday was dubbed “Scary Hair Day,” for which teachers and students used ornaments and hair products to create some wild hair styles. Also on Thursday morning, students welcomed Mrs. Jody Rife, who created creepy face-paintings on selected student subjects with her painting prowess, while sharing simple costuming and make-up tips that students could use at home for their next Halloween costume.
Topping off the week on Thursday, the French Art Colony’s Riverby Theater Guild performed at the school’s annual literacy night for students and their families. The cast dramatized Edgar Allan Poe’s writings in context with his life, followed by prize drawings and a community meal.
Additionally, throughout the week, students enjoyed door prizes, trivia contests, and a competition between classes for the best decorated pumpkin. The week’s events were funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.