Mantua – The Mouse and the Motorcycle came to life at Crestwood Primary School last week, as Principal Cindy Ducca appeared, dressed as a mouse at her school’s “One Book, One School” assembly. According to Mrs. Ducca, her attire was a reward to her students, who exceeded their goal of reading five books per child during the school’s special reading program that highlighted the classic book by Beverly Cleary.
One parent noted that her daughter had been, “reading like a fiend,” to make sure that Ralph could travel enough miles to complete his journey from Ohio to California. The journey was estimated to take 2,500 miles, each of which the students would “earn” by turning in lists of books they read during the program.
And her child wasn’t the only one motivated to read. Every day, book totals were announced, with quantities posted on large cut-outs of the states Ralph S. Mouse would see on his trip from Ohio to California. Students’ progress was highlighted, as the states hung in the school cafeteria, helping students track Ralph’s progress. And as of Thursday morning, Crestwood Primary students exceeded their 2,500-book goal by over 100 books.
At a school-wide assembling that morning, students sang a song about how, “a little mouse and a little boy were most unlikely friends,” and that, “a tiny motorcycle brought them close.” It was an original tune written by Crestwood Primary’s Music teacher Mrs. Jennifer Gilles. Afterwards, teachers, staff, and the 400+ students enjoyed a slide show that featured class artwork and activities inspired by the book. At the end of the presentation, students cheered and waved as their principal, dressed as a giant mouse, rode into the assembly on the back of a real motorcycle, wheeled in by bike owner, Jerry Cavanaugh.
After the program, Mrs. Ducca walked down the hall, this time, dressed as herself. Each passing students made a point to tell her what a great mouse she was, and how much they liked the book and the assembly. “My kids are so positive!”, beamed Mrs. Ducca, “They got so into it — I just love it!”
Through the program, every student received their own copy of the book, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” to enjoy with their family. And, hopefully, the knowledge that reading can take them on many fabulous adventures, just like Ralph.