Read around the planet

March is Reading Month and students in Melissa Kleiman’s class at the Clare-Gladwin Area School celebrated reading with Read Around the Planet, a project that uses videoconference technology to connect local students with classrooms from a variety of states throughout the country, as well as Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The students recited “Green Eggs and Ham,” by Dr. Seuss for their partner class in Poughkeepsie, New York. Following the activity, the classes asked and answered each other’s questions about the respective school, community, and state.

“There are many benefits to this activity,” said Kleiman. “All of my students of varying ability levels can participate and feel like they are a part of an amazing experience, which is great for self-esteem. This activity also facilitates appropriate social interactions, such as takings turns, question and answer, and following directions.”

In addition to the Area School, students from Clare, Farwell, Beaverton, and the Clare-Gladwin RESD’s S.P.A.R.K.S. program participated in Read Around the Planet this year.

According to Clare-Gladwin RESD REMC 5 Director and Instructional Technologist Kay Hauck, Read Around the Planet celebrates reading while allowing students and teachers to collaborate with their peers via distance. “This gives them the opportunity to experience cultural similarities and differences as they travel beyond our state’s boundaries without leaving their school.”

Read Around the Planet began in 2001 and is part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America, as well as World Book Day. REMC 5 provided the technological support needed for this activity.

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