BENNINGTON >> Two Molly Stark School students were named the Paddington Bear Award winners for October and November for their exceptional reading ability.
The winner of the award for October was second grader Jeffrey Dunn, while the November winner was first grader Sadie Sekora. Third grader Taylor Salmon won the inaugural award in September.
Dr. Marie-Pierre Huguet, who works as the Assistant Director for Adult and Continuing Education at the CDC, decided to, every month, provide a gift bag to one student, nominated by the Molly Stark staff, which includes a copy of the student's favorite book, french cookies, candies, and a french notebook, a Paris chocolate medal, a Paddington Bear pen, Paddington Bear snacks and lollipop, a British telephone booth box with English candies, and a Harry Potter pen. The winner also earns the right to carry a Paddington Bear stuffed animal around for the day.
Dunn's teacher, Lise Smith, said that his literacy has greatly improved this year. "He works hard on everything," she said, "he is always helping his friends, and loves to read." He also made an impression on his first grade teacher, Caryn Snow, who said, "Jeffrey never gives up on anything."
Sekora, one of Snow's current students, has also seen much improvement in the literacy program used by the school, Lexia, since the beginning of the school year. "Sadie is a hard-working, persistent, and enthusiastic learner who puts 110 percent into everything that she does, and never gives up," said Snow, "Sadie is always reading books during her free time, and will often read with her friends. I am so proud of all of the hard work Sadie has and continues to do. Great work, Sadie!"
Paddington Bear is a children's literary character created by English author Michael Bond, known for his old hat, duffle coat, and love of marmalade. He was first featured in "A Bear Called Paddington," in 1958. Bond got the idea for the book, his first, after finding a stuffed teddy bear near Paddington Station in London, which he purchased as a gift for his wife. Since then, Paddington has been featured in over 20 books, which have been translated into 30 languages and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
Huguet, who is French, received her Ph.D in curriculum and instruction from the State University of New York, Albany, in 2008. Before coming to the CDC, she worked as a senior course developer for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an instructional developer for the University of Connecticut.