Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

St. Clare surpasses summer reading goal

by A.J. Hakim

October 04, 2012

Excitement set in among St. Clare of Montefalco seventh graders, as out from around the bend, chauffeured in a red Mustang convertible, came their principal, Sr. Kathy Avery. She was dressed as a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater, the Sheb Wooley 1958 classic of the same name playing over the loud speakers set-up outside as the Mustang, with Avery in tow and waving to students, made its way through the school parking lot. As it approached the small group of giggling students, Avery got out and broke out into a dance, wiggling to and fro, to the students’ delight.“I like to dance,” Avery said. “And the kids know I like to dance, as crazy as it is.”A similar scene played out throughout the afternoon last Thursday at St. Clare for its Reading Celebration Day. Each of the past five summers, Avery has challenged students, parents and staff to make the school’s reading goal, this year’s being 7,800 pages. Kindergarteners to eighth graders also have individual grade-level goals. This summer, everyone combined for 143,951 total pages read.The top readers from each grade level include: kindergarten, Danilo Manriquez; 1st grade, Michael Wronikowski, 1,988 pages; 2nd grade, Blake Hern, 2,475 pages; 3rd grade, Leila Milton, 644 pages; 4th grade, Esha Kumar, 2,716 pages; 5th grade, Christopher Lujan, 2,190 pages; 6th grade, Finn Boyle, 4,919 pages; 7th grade, Emily Marck, 3,647 pages; 8th grade, Liam Conlan, 5,914 pages; and teachers, staff and parents, Mickey Bellia, 5,265 pages. “This is the best participation we’ve had,” Avery said. “We had 60 percent participation with students this year. Which, I think is higher than we have ever had.”As extra incentive, individual students who single-handedly met their grade level goals received one jeans day a month and those who tripled the goal colored their hair purple last Thursday. Avery plans the event — and annual stunt — to encourage students, parents and staff to read during the summer.“I used to do a little bit more strenuous stunts,” Avery said. “I stood on my head, I rode a motorcycle I tried to jump rope and do some other things, but my surgery has knocked that out, so I had to think of something else. I kept thinking of flying purple people eater.