Two events to promote literacy intersected recently in Decorah schools.

In February, Kelly Yang, the popular author of 11 middle-grade books, joined Decorah students in grades 4-6 on Zoom to answer questions about her book Finally Seen.Dragonfly Books donated copies of the book to teachers in each grade. They read aloud the book to their students to help prepare them to ask questions during the Zoom experience. Students were particularly excited about the next book in the series, Finally Heard, inspired by Yang’s daughter begging for a phone and the author’s desire to raise concerns related to social media. 

In March, the annual Reading Games was held for third and fourth graders at Carrie Lee Elementary and for fifth and sixth graders at Decorah Middle School. Organized by teacher librarians Michaela Seeman and Shannon Horton, the games involved 136 students and 29 parent and teacher coaches. Students were assigned a team and worked collectively to read all of the books on the list to prepare for a quiz at the final after-school event. Oneota Valley Literary Foundation donated 55 copies of Finally Heard to award as prizes at the Reading Games events. The Family, Educator, and Community Organization (FEC) donated the funds for pizza, and Pizza Ranch provided discounted pricing. 

Horton and Seeman remarked, “We appreciate the community’s support in helping to make reading fun and engaging.”

Students with Books

Members of a winning 5th-grade team with copies of Finally Heard

Book Presentation Auditorium

Students in grades 4-6 asking questions in a Zoom meeting with author Kelly Yang

Kelly Yang and Book

Author Kelly Yang and the cover of her latest book

Reading All Ten Books

Students who read all 10 books at DMS were recognized

Ken and the Barbies

Students at Carrie Lee Elementary taking the final quiz on the books they read

Bookwarm Stars 1

Students at Carrie Lee Elementary taking the final quiz on the books they read