Reading with a twist in Pearl River County

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2014

There is nothing quite like curling up with a good book.

Many members of the older generation probably remember an era when reading a book was one of the only forms of entertainment.

In an age where iPads, computers and video games rule the adolescent day, it is a rarity to see a youngster reading a good book.

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According to, two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare. One in four children grow up not knowing how to read.

These are alarming statistics, considering how much reading is a daily part of people’s lives.

There are street signs, office signs, medical and various other types of forms to complete and many more things to read on a daily basis.

Here at the Picayune Item we salute the teachers and administration of Pearl River Center’s Upper Elementary School and children’s book author David Sargent, Jr. for motivating their students to read.

With the help of his dogs, Sargent engaged the children in a fun and exciting way that spoke to them at their level.

The children were encouraged to dress up as their favorite literary characters.

Reading and writing is an exciting journey.

It sparks the imagination and takes people places they may never literally see, but it’s all right there in the mind.

One day a reader may be sailing a pirate ship with Pippi Longstocking or competing in the latest wizard’s contest at Hogwarts.

For most writers, jotting down their feelings and thoughts is a cathartic process. It releases all those meditations; people may be hesitant to voice out loud.

The point is, keep children engaged in reading. Show them how much fun it is to view life through their own imaginations.