HIS holds school-wide celebration, blood drive

Helena Mayor Mark Hall reads to Helena Intermediate School students during an Oct. 31 school-wide reading celebration. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Helena Mayor Mark Hall reads to Helena Intermediate School students during an Oct. 31 school-wide reading celebration. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HELENA—The entire Helena Intermediate School community donned their pajamas for a school-wide celebration of reading on Oct. 31.

The day kicked off as three Helena firefighters joined students for breakfast as “mystery servers.”

Students then participated in a full day of reading-related activities. Teachers organized special events for their classrooms, such as read-alouds and Camp Comprehension in the fourth grade, in which students read while sitting around play campfires.

“The goal is to have fun reading,” HIS Principal Kathy Paiml said. “We wanted to celebrate reading. We try to have a couple of things throughout the year to encourage reading.”

In addition to in-class activities, students listened to stories from special guest readers throughout the day as part of the Pajama Readathon. Public officials, representatives from each of the Helena schools and the Shelby County School System stopped by HIS to read aloud to students, including Helena Elementary School Principal Mary Cooper, who Paiml said many of the HIS students were very excited to see.

“Some (readers) brought their own books, and some our Media Specialist chose for them to read,” Paiml said.

Guest reader and Helena Mayor Mark Hall garnered laughs from the students as he read aloud from “Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-it-All” and “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.”

“(The students) loved it, and the teachers like it too, it’s just a fun day,” Paiml said of the Oct. 31 reading celebration. “Its fun to do it school-wide.”

HIS also hosted the annual LifeSouth Blood Drive on Oct. 31, and many parents and teachers took part in donating blood.

“We’ve been doing (the LifeSouth Blood Drive) since way before I came (to HIS),” Paiml said, but she noted this year’s blood drive took on special significance in raising awareness and support of one of HIS’s own students, Jakkob Brown.

Third grader Brown has Sickle Cell SS disease and has benefitted from blood donations for transfusions in the past. Brown’s parents used the annual blood drive to raise awareness for the importance of donating blood.