Free Books, Free Stories, Free Cookies and a Dog

Reading specialist Lisa McDonald and second-grade teacher Ed Segovia end their Dr. Seuss presentation with a laugh at the Morse Elementary Story and Book Bonanza. (photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

You don’t normally get to hear an elementary school principal talk about a flatulent dog. But then again, you don’t normally hear about a contest between a rhino and a hippo, or pale green pants with nobody inside them either.

Nathan Musuwath and his sister Neha look over the classic Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches and Other Stories.
(photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

“This is our first Morse Elementary Story and Book Bonanza, it’s a kick-off for March is Reading Month,” said Lauryn Mills, intervention specialist. “We wanted our families to come in and hear a variety of stories. We have poetry, non-fiction, chapter books to get kids excited about reading. We also have a lot of donated books that kids can take home.”

Kindergartner Prisca Yamessi selects some books along with her sister, pre-schooler Josi. (photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

The cafeteria in the school was loaded with books and students were encouraged to select eight of them to take home, read and keep. There were also free cookies, lots of them!

“I think it’s fabulous. I love how all of the staff gets involved and takes time out to come here and read,” said Morse mother Mary Kereji.

Mahesh Adduri and his daughter, third-grader Vaishnavi, look through some of the donated books in the cafeteria.
(photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

Throughout the school, teachers and staff read children’s books as students and their families rotated through. In some rooms, you could win a Dr. Seuss prize, eat some popcorn or hear about that dog mentioned earlier.

“This is a good experience for me,” said father Pareed Jakkamsetti.

“There are fun games and a lot of books,” said student Kristan Samuel.

Third-grade teacher Karen Muzljakovich, dressed accordingly, reads The Paper Bag Princess.

Shel Silverstein poems were read, Dr. Seuss stories were told and there was even a bit about The Littlest Bigfoot.

“It’s going really good. A lot of people are here and they’re interested in the books they’re reading. Not only is it books and reading, but they get to actually take something home too,” said long-term sub Kate Johnson.

“It’s going fantastic. All the kids are having a good time, the families are enjoying it and so is our staff,” said fifth-grade teacher Patrick Scott.

And way back in one of the furthest rooms, a fairly serious subject was being taken on in a humorous, engaging way. A dog safety and dog bite prevention presentation was helmed by principal Stephanie Zendler, Lindsay Emery from Canine Companions Rescue Center and Roscoe the black lab who, while School Life Troy was in attendance, wasn’t one bit gaseous.

Kindergartner Gretchen Kohl and her mother, Andrea, listen raptly. (photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

But the story sure was.

“We love Walter the Farting Dog read by principal Zendler,” said Jackie Laws. “My kid loves stories and he loves listening to them.”

Good dog, Roscoe!

Morse principal Stephanie Zendler pats Roscoe, a visiting black lab, while she shares the story of Walter the Farting Dog, during a dog bite presentation with Lindsay Emery. (photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)