The mind can be a limitless source of imagination when reading a good book.
It’s National Book Month, and people are urged to visit a title of interest and find out why using the imagination to bring life to an author’s words can be exhilarating.
Every year, schools host book fairs to raise money for the library or community needs while using the opportunity to remind students how reading can change their lives.
The Tahlequah Middle School Scholastic Book Fair runs through Oct. 16 under the theme “All-Star Readers,” which denotes the school’s earning the first-place prize for last spring’s Scholastic Book Fairs National Middle School Student Crew Contest.
“I had seven members of the library staff who were the actual crew, but we had many, many participants,” said TMS Media Specialist Dr. Brenda Maddan. “There were 200 kids who participated in that book fair. They drew fish. Their teachers helped. Mr. [Tony] Scantlin made our ‘Jaws’ [cutout] where the kids could walk through it. The whole school helped. Tahlequah Middle School gets behind the book fair. They’re really dedicated to getting the kids to read.”
Official crew members of the under-the-sea themed “Dive into Reading” book fair included Marisella Sierra, Kenzy Hammons, Tyler Hooper, Jonathan Medellin, Joshua Dick, Courtney Walker and Austin Jones, who will be in the picture selected to highlight TMS in the Scholastic Book Fair resource book that is sent to schools across the country.
“It’s really a great honor to be able to win the [national Scholastic Book Fair contest],” he said. “The library is an important room in the school. People not only come here to check out books, they come here to study. They come here to do all kinds of things. The library is very fun to me because I love reading, and we have so many books. We have the newest and coolest books.”
With the nationwide victory, TMS earned $2,000 in books and merchandise from the children’s publishing, education and media company, as well as an Oct. 16 visit from award-winning author Roland Smith, who will be on hand to answer questions and sign autographs in two separate assemblies.
“He’s also going to have breakfast with the crew,” said Maddan. “I don’t think, at least to my knowledge, that’s ever been done here before. No one’s ever won a book fair contest. It’s pretty awesome. It speaks volumes for my students. They worked hard. We decorate, we go all out. If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly. I can’t help it, that’s just one of my deals.”
Maddan’s crew plan and conduct the book fair, including coming up with the theme, creating contests, designing advertising campaigns, and hosting activities aimed at attracting interest in reading among their peers, as well as adults. Proceeds from this year’s donuts for donations activity, which raised money last spring for books that went to underprivileged children in the community, will go to help rebuild the library in Mannford, where several community members lost their homes or businesses due to a widespread of uncontrolled grassfires.
“The class that raises the most money gets a day of movies and popcorn,” said Jones. “It’s really funny to see the teachers come in and donate so much.”
And creating a sense of home and community in the library is exactly what Maddan wants.
“As far as the library goes, I’m not one of these [quiet] libraries. We’re a library. We’re the hub of the school,” she said. “I want kids to come in and feel comfortable, and not feel like they can’t speak.”
Regardless of detectable reverberations in the room, reading is important, said Cherokee Elementary Librarian Lori Smith.
“Book fairs and special months help to excite students, parents and teachers,” she said. “Book fairs help in two ways. First, the students love the opportunity to shop for new books. They get to look for what they like. This helps to get books into each home. Second, by purchasing books, money is earned for our library. Using these funds, we can buy literature and equipment for our school.”
Greenwood Elementary Librarian Julie Crittenden believes National Book Month is a great opportunity to put reading in the spotlight and remind everyone how essential it is.
“Reading is the single most important tool a child will gain in school. Once a student masters the skill of reading, it opens up the door to all other subjects such as history, science, mathematics, geography, and makes it easier to learn about them,” she said. “Having a month devoted to books and reading helps us remember that when it comes to education, reading is where it all starts.”
The mind can be a limitless source of imagination when reading a good book.
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Music to their ears
Local musicians looking for a chance to perform band music with fellow players are invited to join a group at Northeastern State University.
The Communiversity Band is a concert ensemble composed of NSU students and members of the Tahlequah community, and there is still time to get involved.
Hand-crafted ornaments, holiday gifts mean the most
For families on tight budgets, Christmas gift-giving means advanced planning and thinking outside the box. Often some of the most cherished gifts are those made by hand.
People looking to exercise their creative side this year need only look as far as Pinterest, according to Heather Winn, family and consumer science educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Cherokee County foster mother arrested for murder of 2-year-old
Investigators have arrested a 47-year-old foster mother for first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl Sunday morning.
Delila A. Pacheco was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
Pacheco is accused of killing 2-year-old Alysa Horney.
Ki Bois to offer services for veterans, families
In an effort to assist some of the area’s neediest veterans, the Ki Bois Community Action Foundation recently announced the startup of its Supportive Services for Veterans Families program.
Ki Bois will hold a grand opening ceremony Thursday, Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the Muskogee office, 421 N. Broadway St.
However, Ki Bois began actual administration in its area of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program Dec. 1. Funding is through the Veterans Administration, and Cherokee County veterans will also be served.
Roads get help from Mother Nature
Cherokee County commissioners were pleased to see the sun and rising temperatures help melt away some of the muck left along area roads Tuesday.
All of that melting is sure to leave some slick spots in the overnight and early morning hours for the next several days, but conditions are expected to improve.
Braving the cold
Though the weekend weather made travel difficult, the Snowflake ice rink still attracted plenty of skaters who wanted to spend time outdoors, balancing on blades.
The closing of Tahlequah Public Schools and other Cherokee County schools Monday created another skating opportunity, but there were only a couple of teen skaters on the ice at 3 p.m. Monday, braving the cold.
Electronics a solution for men’s gifts
The clock is ticking down to Christmas, and the shopping season is in full swing.
Most men have a distaste for shopping, and buying gifts for them can be difficult. Fortunately, local merchants have lots to choose from when searching for the perfect gift for men.
Anthony Hare, owner of Sooner TV and Electronics, said home theater systems are gaining popularity.
Source of storage facility blaze mulled
Tahlequah firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that damaged several units of a storage facility Sunday night.
Fire Chief Ray Hammons said the department is investigating several possibilities.
Local felon scooped up after woman, child attacked
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a convicted felon over the weekend after he allegedly assaulted a woman and child.
Steven Jacob Fishinghawk, 35, of Tahlequah, was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on a lengthy list of charges: aggravated domestic assault and battery on a minor child, ag- gravated domestic assault and battery, feloniously pointing a firearm, five counts of child endangerment, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and resisting arrest.
Officials defend efforts to clear snow
Tahlequah’s street commissioner and mayor on Monday defended the work of the city’s employees in the wake of last week’s winter storm, and said efforts will continue to clear the streets of snow and ice.
After more than 5 inches of snow fell last Friday, covering area roads that were already layered with ice, some residents claimed the city wasn’t doing enough.
But Street Commissioner Mike Corn on Monday said his crews worked 24-hour shifts through Sunday evening.
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