Mantua – For a full week, Crestwood Primary School (CPS) students, staff and community members went doggone crazy celebrating their 10th annual Right to Read Week. It was only fitting, considering that this year’s theme celebrated Clifford the big red dog’s 50th birthday. And the famous big red dog’s likeness was all over the school that week – in the form of plush toys and on bulletin boards. A particular kindergarten class even wore big red dog ears while reading their favorite Clifford book. The school was decked out, as the children celebrated reading, Clifford-style.

doghouseIndividual classrooms competed to have the best Clifford-themed door, choosing favorites from the Norman Bridwell series of books featuring Clifford and his best friend Emily Elizabeth. Door themes included books like Clifford Goes to School and Clifford’s Good Deeds, reinforcing the positive messages found in the Scholastic book series.

Each day’s morning announcements featured Clifford’s big idea for that day, topics incuding being a good friend, sharing, and respecting others, to name a few. Classes visited Clifford’s “doghouse”, a large tent set up in the school’s cafeteria, where they chose from a collection stories to read in a more relaxed setting. Community volunteers had the opportunity to read books or to listen as students practiced reading aloud to them. In addition, retired teacher Mrs. Amy McCoy brought her specially trained dog Chloe to CPS, giving kids the chance to read stories about a big red dog to one of his biggest canine fans.

The statewide program is currently in its 36th year, and was sponsored by the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association. For more information, visit