Eager to share their passion for reading with others, students at Lincoln-Way North High School are hosting a Future Phoenix Reading Night at the school on Nov. 6.
Youngsters in grades K-3 who will attend Lincoln-Way North High someday are invited to attend.
“Younger students look up to older students,” explained Erin Venezio, the reading department chair at Lincoln-Way North High School. “This is a great opportunity for the younger students to see the older students modeling a positive view of reading.”
The school has hosted a Future Phoenix Reading each year since the school first opened in 2008. The event is held in conjunction with Make a Difference Day.
“We encourage students to make a difference in the life of someone younger by modeling their reading skills,” said Venezio.
Dozens of grade school children from the Summit Hill School District attend each year, teaming up with the high school freshmen to read together.
To help some of the shyer students feel more comfortable, faculty members are bringing their dogs in so youngsters can practice their reading skills on them.
Principal Michael Gardner started the tradition three years ago when he brought his 10-year-old Labrador/pointer mix named Anna to the first Future Phoenix Reading Night.
“Research tells us that if you read to your pets at home, it will help you with your reading,” he told students, encouraging them to read to their family pets – whether they be dogs, cats, goldfish or gerbils.
“If a child is hesitant or shy about his or her reading skills, reading to a dog is a great opportunity to read in a relaxing environment,” added Venezio. “As they practice reading, the child’s skills improve.”
This year’s Future Phoenix Reading Night will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Nov. 6 in the school cafeteria, 19901 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort.
Parents are welcome to stay for the program and attend a presentation in the school library about Mandy, a certified therapy dog that students can read with at the Mokena Public Library.