’Tis the season for reading

Sophia Gossage, 6, and Peyton George, 3, have fun at the Pelham Public Library’s Halloween celebration.

On Oct. 23, seniors were taking their ACT for the last time before scholarship application deadlines. Certainly, many seniors were sleeping in, secure in their impressive scores.

However, a few students with impressive scores were trying for just one more point – because a single point can make a huge difference in the amount of scholarship money received.

The ACT and the SAT are standardized tests meant to predict a student’s ability to be successful in college. Of course, neither test measures work ethic.

Parents and teachers wish that colleges plugged students’ capacity for commitment and hard work into the scholarship equation. Pressed for time and overwhelmed with applications, many colleges rely heavily on ACT numbers for awarding scholarships. So how do we give kids the best opportunity to achieve high numbers on standardized tests?

Pelham residents Danielle and Brandon George are already giving that opportunity to their 3-year-old daughter, Peyton. Impressed by the large numbers of kids participating in the library’s summer reading program, I was visiting the library’s Halloween festival when I met the George family.

The youngest George and her friend, 6-year-old Sophia Gossage, were examining their loot from the Fishing Booth. George told me that she most enjoyed the Halloween art table where she was able to create a skeleton, which looked like the skeleton costume she was wearing.

Since both of these young library patrons were so comfortable in the library and ready to tell me all about the fun they were having, I wasn’t surprised to learn that they attend other children’s programs at the library.

“Peyton and her dad come to PJ Story Time almost every Thursday night. That’s Peyton’s special daddy time,” Danielle George said. “They started coming when Peyton was about 6 months old.”

Children’s Librarian Mary Campbell said, “Peyton George is PJ Story Time’s little ambassador. She makes sure everyone has a bean bag and feels welcome.”

“My husband, Brandon, and I both love to read,” Danielle George said. “We really want to pass along that love of reading to Peyton.”

More than 125 kids attended the library’s Halloween Carnival, along with parents and junior librarian volunteers. Most of those kids left with a book they wanted to read.

Reading daily for pleasure, in addition to reading for school, helps increase standardized test scores. We’re fortunate that Pelham Public Library makes sure reading is always in season.

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.