Danbury kicks off school year with celebration of reading

Aug 25, 2021 | Around Ottawa County, Featured | 0 comments

A large crowd listens to story teller Erin Sandvick on the Danbury High School football field. (Photo by Phil Wheeler)


More than 100 men, women and children showed up at the Danbury High School football stadium on Monday night to celebrate a shared love of reading while “Under the Lights.”

Parents and grandparents joined their children in a scavenger hunt all over Biro Field. The youngsters searching for clues to solve the word puzzle, “Books aren’t just made of words, you know . . . they’re also filled with places to visit and people to meet.”

Each clue lead to a letter scattered throughout the field, stands, concessions and even along the fences.

This was the first such “Under the Lights” reading event, but it will not be the last.

“We started in August with a summer literacy camp with some of the kids working on their reading skills. From there, we all got together and said we wanted to have a community event, not just for our struggling readers, but everyone,” said Paige Raybuck, one of the coordinators for the “Under the Lights” event. “We organized games and prizes all based around literacy.”

In addition to the scavenger hunt, there was sight word bingo, using the most common words used throughout the year in reading class. When a word is called, if you have the that word on your card you mark it, just like bingo.

After the scavenger hunt and bingo, Erin Sandvick from the Marblehead Peninsula Branch Library read a story to the attentive gathering on Biro Field. Families sat together and listened, joining in when asked.

Lucy the Service dog is joined by her friends Kevin and Laura Zywiec, Alaina and Weston Smith, and her owner Judy.

The highlight of the night, though, may not have been literacy. It might have been a tossup between the Kona Ice truck providing icy treats for all in attendance, Neddy’s supplying free kiddie cones, or Lucy the service dog.

Lucy visits the school on a regular basis and the kids read to her. She loves the love she gets from the kids.

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