No matter how electronically sophisticated our world gets, Linda Cvik believes nothing will ever top the satisfaction of reading a good book.
“We’re certainly trying to instill that in the children. Technology has its place, but so do books,” stated Cvik, who serves as principal of St. Patrick’s School in Owego.
Books had their place at St. Patrick’s during Reading Motivational Month in March. The student body was assigned a collective goal of 24,000 pages to read that month and far surpassed the quota, coming in at 38,000. Each class (kindergarten through fifth grade) exceeded its individual goal as well. Cvik said that some teachers set aside daily reading time during school, but the majority of this project was conducted on students’ own free time.
For their efforts, a couple of rewards were bestowed upon the St. Patrick’s readers. A pool party was held April 19 at the Owego Community Pool, and four days later state Sen. Thomas Libous of Binghamton — who represents the 51st District — appeared at St. Patrick’s for a book reading as part of National Library Week. Sen. Libous read to the school’s 75 students as well as another 20 in the pre-kindergarten program, then donated to St. Patrick’s School an autographed copy of the periodical he read — “House Mouse, Senate Mouse,” a children’s book about the legislative process.
Despite these treats, Cvik said they weren’t the main motivation for students. “They did not know they were going to have a pool party ahead of time,” she said. “The children here certainly demonstrated an enjoyment and interest for reading.”
Cvik also noted the importance of adults such as Sen. Libous, teachers and parents taking time to share in this experience. “There’s a special bond, reading to children, that cannot be replaced with technology. Books are a treasure,” she said.