BENNINGTON >> A kindergartner and a fourth-grade student are the winners of the Paddington Bear Award at Molly Stark Elementary School for December and January.
The award is given monthly to the Molly Stark student whom the teachers and staff feel deserves recognition for their reading ability or improvement. The December winner was kindergarten student Mia Randall, from Ms. Ferris and Mrs. Miller's class. "She has gone above and beyond since she started kindergarten. She always listens to her teachers, participates, and tries her best," said Ferris, "She already knows all of her letters and sounds and knows over 45 sight words! She does her homework every night and loves to learn. She even chooses to read instead of play when she is given the choice. We are so proud of Mia and all of her accomplishments so far this year."
"Mia is always excited about choosing a book in the library and always returns her library books on time," said school librarian Allyson Hoffman.
The January winner was fourth-grader Evan Rodd, from Mrs. Stone's class.
"As a teacher, I encourage a love of reading in my students. It is a worthy mission," said Stone, "I love to read, loved it as a kid, too. I have favorite books and authors and share my reading experiences with my students. Evan reads a lot. He reads for pleasure, information, instructions, and so on. He always has a book on his desk to read." She said most recently, Rodd had been reading J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy series, "The Lord of the Rings."
"Evan will share his reading experiences with his friends. He is a fluent reader and is great at remembering the details of the story," said Stone, "What I notice about Evan when he is reading is that he can totally block out any of the background noise and stay focused on his book. For our last book project, Evan read non-fiction books about inventors and inventions. After reading the books, he wrote a report on the invention of robots and made great diagrams to explain the invention and drew pictures to go along with his reading and his report. Not only does Evan borrow books from the library, he also buys books so he can keep them and read again! Evan sets a good example of a student who loves to read."
Dr. Marie-Pierre Huguet, who works as the assistant director for Adult and Continuing Education at the Career Development Center, 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.
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.