Fantastic Friday fun at W.O Parmer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2006

Local elementary students recently learned superheroes love to read, too.

The entire student body at W.O. Parmer Elementary was treated last Friday to a presentation by none other than Mr. Fantastic, a.k.a Dr. Reed Richards, the leader of Marvel Comic's Fantastic Four.

Mr. Fantastic was on hand at the school to share his amazing abilities (stretching his right arm long enough to scratch teacher Terra Simmons' head from on stage, for example).

More importantly, the superhero shared some important facts about education, especially reading, with the children.

&#8220My favorite part of school, in addition to coloring – was reading,” Mr. Fantastic told the children with a grin. He reminded them an education is important to help student reach goals every day, and reading is the key.

His personal appearance at the school was a reward for those students who benchmarked on their DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literary Skills) for the first semester of the year.

&#8220We promised those students who benchmarked the opportunity have their group photos taken with Mr. Fantastic, and that's just what happened today,” W.O. Parmer Principal Carole Teague said.

Mr. Fantastic later reverted to his alter ego, Dr. Reed Richards, and enjoyed lunchtime with the students.

First semester DIBELS scores for the school were 85 percent for the kindergarten; 82 percent for the first grade and 83 percent for the second grade.

&#8220That gives our school an 83 percent total benchmark, which is very good when you consider we were at 86 percent at the end of last year,” Teague said.

&#8220We think we have made a lot of progress to already rank this high in the middle of the year.”

Teague said the good scores showed the hard work by the teachers and reading coaches at the school.

&#8220We are also seeing our students take an interest and a pleasure in reading, instead of seeing it as a chore.”

The principal expressed thanks to all the parents who supported their children in learning to read, and read at a higher level.

&#8220I am so proud of our faculty here and our Americorps volunteers for doing such a good job overall with our students each day,” Teague said.

&#8220With our reading block, everybody, including the P.E. staff, is involved in teaching reading during that 90-minute block each day. We are seeing advanced readers continue to be challenged, and struggling readers making real advances.”