?March Madness? is reading theme


Hillsboro Elementary School held its annual Family Reading Night on Tuesday, March 13. The theme was March Madness, but the evening was not centered just on basketball.

Families also enjoyed activities that revolved around other March events, such as the coming of spring, gardening, weather and even the time change.


Courtesy photo Sonja and Franklin Jost and dad, Todd, learn about tornadoes and computers at Tornado Alley during Family Reading Night.

As in years past, families spent most of the evening rotating through various stations. Before the families left the gym for stations, they watched the beginning of a March Madness Mystery in which the high school girls? basketball team had just discovered that one of their star players, Shanna Banana, was missing. Suspect?ing ?foul? play, team members listed several suspects who could?ve taken their teammate and also gave their motives.

With the scene set, families headed for their stations hoping to pick up new clues.

The stations included:

  • Tornado alley. Students and families had a chance to brush up on tornado safety while using the school?s kidspiration software. The software is a graphic organizer students use to better organize thoughts and ideas when writing.
  • Basketball: The heart of March Madness. Students listened to a story about the game and then had the opportunity to display some of their own basketball skills.
  • Worming our way into spring. After listening to the story, ?Diary of a Worm? by Doreen Cronin, in which a worm describes school and home experiences through his eyes, students enjoyed making dirt cups with their very own worm.
  • Once upon a time, the end. With the time change, parents often find it even more difficult to get their children to bed.? At this station, families watched a video showing a father?s attempt to put his children to bed quickly. The father, played by HES principal Evan Yoder, shortens countless familiar fairy tales in an unsuccessful attempt to get his children?played by fifth graders?to sleep.? A video of the skit is being shown on local cable Channel 45 through spring break.
  • Spring into reading. Families were given 12 minutes of uninterrupted reading time.? Books were set out to match the evening?s theme.
  • Book walk. Similar to a cake walk, children walked in a circle on scanned book covers while music played. When the music stopped, a title was drawn. The student standing on that title received a prize, which included books, posters, stickers and candy.

At the conclusion of each station, a clue was given out to help families identify a kidnapper.? When the stations were completed, families went back to the gym to discuss the clues and to vote. The suspects waited in the gym to collect ballots.?

Once the voting was complete, the skit continued and the kidnapper was revealed. Shanna Banana hopped into the locker room at halftime to let everyone know it was the referee.

From all the ballots cast for the ref, two names were drawn and the winners were given autographed basketballs from the HHS boys? and girls? basketball teams.

To end the evening, various teachers and fifth-graders presented a melodrama based on the book, ?The Gold Miner?s Daughter,? by Jackie Mims Hopkins.

About 62 percent of the HES student body and their families attended the event. Mike Jilka?s fourth-grade class had the highest percentage of attendance (93), earning the class a pizza party.?

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