Brockway Elementary Celebrates Read Across America

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – The principals at Brockway Area Elementary School had some obstacles to get through to cap off Read Across America Week at the school.

Read Across America is a nationwide initiative to excite students about reading. It happens around March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Brockway’s Brian Mulhollan (left) and Candace Patricelli prepare for the Read Across America assembly.

Brockway Elementary Principal Candace Patricelli said that the week is a great way to get students excited.

“The kids have been excited about all the events we’ve had this week,” Patricelli said. “Thursday night had a magic show. Any kids who attended, they got their names put in a hat for a drawing to go to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Sunny 106 donated the tickets. We had rocking chair reading on Tuesday, so different teachers read books to students. We had a book fair all week long. We also had a book swap, so the kids got to trade a gently-used book with other students. But they’re really excited for the assembly.”

If the students read enough, they were promised an assembly. The goal was 50 chapters or 50 books, depending on grade level. Trophies appeared by the library as the classes completed their goals.

Read Across America is important to Patricelli and Brockway.

“My father did the first one here,” she said. “We figured it out last year, that it was the 25th year. This is the 26th. It’s always been the principal who has done something special.”
Patricelli has been duct taped to walls and other crazy spectacles for Read Across America. However, she has her limits.

“There are only two things I said I wouldn’t do,” she said. “I said I won’t shave my head. The other thing is I won’t eat a live bug or animal. Other than that, as long as I don’t get hurt, I’ll do it.”

This year, Brian Mulhollan, elementary assistant principal and co-principal at the high school, joined her in an obstacle course.

“Katie Fremer is running the committee this year,” Patricelli said. This year, Fremer, along with Christina Myers, Andrea Oknefski, Breanna Rush, Vanessa Olivio, Alissa Carnahan, Tina Baronick, Beth Stoltz, Brittany Brumberg, Rachel Frederick, and Hunter Lydick took over planning duties for the event. “I don’t have to plan anything. I just showed up where they tell me to. It’s great!”

Patricelli and Mulhollan found an obstacle course in the gym. They had to do summersaults, jump rope, piece together a puzzle, dribble basketballs, crab walk, and roll on a cart. The event capped off with two whipped cream pies that had pieces of gum hidden inside them. The principals had to find that gum with their mouths.

“Today, we asked to see if Mr. (Jeff) Vizza would get us the ambulance like they do at the football games, just in case Mr. Mulhollan and I are older than we think we are,” Patricelli added.

The assembly ended in a tie. No ambulance was needed.

The event ended with giveaways from the Parent/Teacher Committee and the Pittsburgh Zoo Tickets going to Quinton Perrin.

“We want school to be a fun place to be,” Patricelli said. “The kids are so excited when we do events like this.”

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