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Students Spread Kindness and Grow Literacy Skills at SES

SES Author Visit

March 9, 2022

Struthers Elementary Students have been busy practicing their reading skills through last week’s Right to Read week and the annual Read-A-Thon.


Each day throughout the week last week, special literacy activities highlighted the theme ‘Kindness - Read About It & Pass It On!’

The week began with a visit from local author Sally Kurjan, whose book Bernie the One-Eyed Puppy invokes compassion and empathy in young readers. The students enjoyed hearing from Kurjan and the book’s illustrator, Shannara Harvey about the process of writing a book, from concept to publishing. The students then listened to Kurjan read the book, inspired by Kurjan’s one-eyed rescue dog, Bernie. 

“Through Sally Kurjan’s generosity, every student received a free book during her visit,” says Sandi Horvath, Literacy Coordinator for Struthers City Schools.

Guest Author Visit


Students listen to the story of Bernie, a one-eyed puppy with guest author Sally Kurjan and illustrator Shannara Harvey on Monday, February 28.

Guest Author Visit

Every SES student received a copy of Sally Kurjan’s Bernie the One-Eyed Puppy.

Buddy Reading Day connected classes throughout the school, pairing older students to read with their younger counterparts.

Buddy Reading

Students in Diana Hauser’s second grade class read with students in Maura Evans’ kindergarten class. 

Buddy Reading

A third grade student and first grade student read together.

Classes welcomed guests for read-alouds on Thursday’s Guest Reader Day. Guests included administrators, coaches, teachers, staff members and members of the Board of Education, as well as Jonathan Guerrier and Colleen Miller from Premier Bank in Struthers. In the afternoon, 13 students from Struthers High School also visited classrooms to read to the young Wildcats.

Guest Reader Visit


Jonathan Guerrier from Premier Bank in Struthers visited to read to Struthers Elementary third grade students during Right to Read Week.

The final day of the week was set aside for Reader’s Theater presentations. Reader's theater is a strategy for developing reading fluency that involves children in oral reading by reading parts in scripts. Other classes were invited to attend the productions.

“We had a wonderful week with many affirming messages of kindness, caring and accepting of others,” says Horvath.

SES ANNUAL READ-A-THONPete the Penguin Visit

From January 26 through February 9, Struthers Elementary students were challenged to meet reading goals set for their particular grade levels. This year, more than 250 students reached or exceeded the goals!

SES students who reached the reading goals during the SES Read-A-Thon received a Chick-fil-a gift certificate for a Chick-fil-A kid’s meal or chicken sandwich. The Chick-fil-A rewards have been generously provided by the local Chick-fil-A and its manager, Shelly LaBerto. The students also were able to receive a free ticket to a recent YSU basketball game for achieving these goals.

The students who met their Read-A-Thon reading goals were entered into a drawing for a set of wireless devices (including a pair of headphones and a mouse). Two sets of wireless devices were given away in each grade level at the conclusion of Right to Read Week.

“We are so thankful to be in such a generous and involved community,” says Horvath. “I thank our staff, guests, parents and community contributors for embracing the ideas and activities with enthusiasm and helping to grow a love of reading in our students!”

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