Phillie Phanatic Celebrates Reading Home Run with Jennings Students
The Phillie Phanatic visited Jennings elementary school in Haddon Township on Tuesday to celebrate students' win in a Phillies reading competition.
They say reading is its own reward—but it certainly doesn’t hurt when the Phillie Phanatic is cheering you on.
Students at Clyde S. Jennings Elementary School partied with the Phillies mascot on Tuesday as reward for a reading job extremely well done.
The Phanatic, in all his green, hairy, snouty glory, popped out of a closet at Jennings during a special assembly and spent 45 minutes boogying, singing, reading and, of course, jeering the Mets with students. The mascot came to Jennings thanks to a contest won by the school’s resource room students.
Since September, the children, who have learning challenges, have participated in a Phillies reading competition. They took on at least 15 minutes of reading each night and logged their progress. From hundreds of schools in Phillies country, the Phanatic picked Jennings as one of the winners.
“This means so much to my kids and I’m so proud of them,” said Valerie Bowers, resource room teacher (and well-known Phillies fanatic herself). “It means even more because reading is challenging for many of them. But they tried so hard and they became excited about reading in the process. Even though many of them have to work extra-hard, they started to love reading.”
The prospect of the Phanatic visiting Jennings certainly helped as motivation for her Phillies fans students, Bowers added.
The entire school turned out for the March 19 assembly, with almost every student and teacher decked out in Phillies gear. The whole school also made pennants cheering on the Phillies on the front and writing about their favorite books on the back.
Students waved their pennants frantically as the Phanatic burst out of the all-purpose room closet and danced with the kids. After delighting the students with his familiar belly-shaking moves and even mugging for the camera for Patch (see video above), it was time to read.
For all of his antics, the Phanatic is famously a non-talker, so Jennings teachers and the principal stepped into read Phillie Phanatic’s Galapagos Islands Adventure (the mascot hails from the islands, in case you didn’t know.)
As teachers read about the Phanatic’s origins, the Phanatic acted out the story, including what to pack. Phillies hat? Yay! Mets hat? Boo!
After working all school year for this moment, resource room fourth-grader Auston Colclough cheered in delight as his hard work paid off.
“I like reading better than movies,” said Auston, 10, who named Over the Hedge as his favorite book. “You get to know stuff better when you’re reading it instead of watching it.”
That’s a sentiment Jennings school can root-root-root for.
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