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By A Singe Bright Light: Students Participate in Read by Flashlight Event - from The Messenger

January 17, 2020

The students attending the annual Dodger Academy Read By Flashlight Thursday afternoon had their choice of three different levels of illumination.

There was the library with dimmed lights, the cafeteria with bright lights and the gym, completely dark.

One of those, with a nod to a certain story with three bears in it, would be just right.

Dan Harris and his daughter Leah Harris, 7, opted for a flashlight in the gym.

“It’s cool,” she said. “We did it last year.”

two girls reading in dark by flashlight with an adult

She enjoyed a National Geographic book on sea otters.

“They use their stomachs for plates, they smash food on rocks and they can hold their breath for five minutes,” she said.

She also learned about their groups, called rafts.

“So the rafts are either all girls or all boys,” she said.

Also, she discovered, they’re not good pets.

“No,” she said. “Its teeth are super big.”

Her dad is a strong proponent of reading with his daughter.

“Every night we read a book,” he said.

He’s also made sure there’s a well-stocked library.

“How many books do you think we have?” he asked her.

Apparently, plenty but not the right ones.

“I want to get rid of them, they’re all about imaginary animals,” she said. “We need more about real animals, I like real ones.”

Her brother, Cory Harris, 11 months, reclined in his car seat nearby.

She’s nicknamed him “Corn dog.” According to her own observations, he’s learned on his own.

“He learned to stick out his tongue and spit,” she said.

Tina Brown read with her granddaughter, Nayoli Brown, 7, and Nayoli Brown’s friend, Kaleiya Mosley, 8.

They found a seat in the gym.

“I like graphic novels,” Mosley said.

“I like movie books,” Brown said.

Grandma has her own taste.

“You like nonfiction books and you like cooking books,” Nayoli Brown said.

They also read a lot at home and are frequent visitors to the library.

Montana Peterson, 8, opted for the dimmed lights of the library where she also had the company of Jordan and Snoopy, two therapy dogs brought along by Mary Ann Roux and Terry Haas, both of Fort Dodge.

Peterson doesn’t have a favorite genre.

“I just really like the one I’m reading,” Peterson said.

She’s also no stranger to reading to dogs.

“Sometimes we go to my cousin’s house and they have a dog we read to,” she said. “Her name is Sadie.”

Erin Brookshire, the director of the Dodger Academy program, said that the program’s extra reading efforts along with Butler’s extra efforts have resulted in an improvement in the students recent test scores.

She said there are plenty of benefits to reading: relaxation, reducing stress and continuing to learn among them.

She also said that students who read at home with their parents also do better in school.

All of the books read Thursday were donated by the Kiwanis Club. Each child got to keep their volume.

“All of the students were able to take home the book they read,” Brookshire said.

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