They say the early bird catches the worm, but for Becky Kunkel's second grade class at Forest Park Elementary School in Fremont, the catch was bigger. Shark-size in fact!
Kunkel was the first teacher this year to register on-line for Reading Is Cool, and to say thanks, S. J. Sharkie and Sharks Foundation Manager Laura Johnston swam by on October 17th to present the class with an autographed jersey and pucks for each of the students.
"When Sharkie arrived, they were in awe. I had never seen them so overwhelmed and stunned before," said Kunkel, who has participated in Reading Is Cool for the past four years. The energetic class was on their best behavior as they told Sharkie about their favorite books while he signed autographs.
"It was cool to meet Sharkie and have him sign my hat," said nine-year old Nathanial Schuler, "I want to be the top reader!" He'll have some competition. When asked who the top reader would be, every hand (and even a fin!) shot up into the air.
"Since the visit, the students come in each morning telling me how much they read the night before," said Kunkel, "They are so excited to read and ask if Sharkie would like the books that they are reading."
"Without the excitement of being able to read, these students have a very limited future," says Sharkie, whose favorite book is The Magic Hockey Stick by Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas, "I am glad to know that with Reading Is Cool, we are creating a fun way to brighten their future."
Reading Is Cool, presented by The Sharks Foundation, The Mercury News and FSN Bay Area, is a free literacy program for K-6th grade classrooms in Santa Clara County and southern Alameda County (Newark, Fremont, and Union City). Each month teachers record the number of books their students read and award their top reader a special Reading Is Cool prize. The top ten classrooms also receive a visit from S.J Sharkie to congratulate the students on their reading achievements. Other Reading Is Cool events include Celebrity Story Hours, book drives at Sharks games, and school Read-Ins.
For more information on Reading Is Cool or to register, please visit www.sjsharkie.com or contact Sharks Foundation Manager Laura Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org.