Manheim Central elementary schools host reading Mini-THON

By on March 27, 2019

Manheim Central’s two elementary schools – Doe Run and H.C. Burgard-were buzzing with activity Wednesday, March 13 as learners and their families participated in a Reading Mini-Thon.

The halls of both schools were filled with music, laughter and the excited chatter of families. Learners showcased their dance skills by presenting a line dance-each grade level performed a different dance. Even the school principals, Burgard’s Michael Pyle and Doe Run’s Arthur Paynter, joined in the action and showed off their dance moves.

Learners could also spend time reading or playing board games with their families. Face painting was available. And perhaps the most fun of all-visits from Manheim Central’s mascot-The Baron, members of the high school football team, Penn State’s Nittany Lion mascot, and Hersheypark characters.

Manheim Central’s two elementary schools – Doe Run and H.C. Burgard-were buzzing with activity Wednesday, March 13 as learners and their families participated in a Reading Mini-Thon. Shown here is Manheim Central High School learner Rob Maddox (left) painting a design on the face of H.C. Burgard first grade learner Johnny Mummau.

The fun-filled evening event was the culmination of both schools’ celebration of all things reading that kicked off with an assembly on March 4. Leading up to the Reading Mini-Thon learners read and completed activities; recoding everything reading-related in a reading log. Both schools also held a student-led door decorating contest and themed days such as book character day and pajama day.


Autumn Stoner, a first grade learner at HC Burgard, receives a hug from Manheim Central’s mascot, The Baron, during the Reading Mini-Thon.

“It’s {the Reading Mini-THON} been awesome-our staff did a wonderful job,” Pyle said. “It’s a great way to celebrate all the good work the kids have done with reading.”

Coleen Reiner, a second-grade teacher at H.C. Burgard, coordinated activities for the school, while Melissa Troiano, an instructional coach, coordinated activities at Doe Run. Reiner said in the past the elementary schools hosted a Family Reading Night to celebrate reading activities. Each year, Family Reading Night had a different theme; some past themes were camping and the Olympics. She said the themes were selected as a way to get learners excited about reading.

“Each year our superintendent, Peter Aiken, sets a goal for the district. This year he wanted the staff to be difference makers and to help our students be difference makers,” Reiner explained.

She said when the team that coordinates Family Reading Night began to plan this year’s event, they were hoping to blend reading with something that might get kids excited because they were helping others. She said both her daughters were involved in the Mini-THON at Elizabethtown High School, and one year, the elementary schools participated.

“I thought that was a good idea,” Reiner said, “Our (elementary) students can make a difference; their little acts of kindness like donating loose change can make a big difference in another child’s life. So we decided to blend a love of reading with a love for mankind.”

The Reading Min-Thon raised funds for the Four Diamonds Fund, whose mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research. “The Four Diamonds Fund is such a wonderful organization. We all know, or heard of, someone who has been affected by cancer. It is especially hard when that person is a child,” Reiner said.

She said the total raised by both schools from activities including T-shirt sales is $800. This amount will be added to the amount collected by the high school during their March 22 and 23 Mini-THON. The high school’s Mini-Thon is a scaled down version of Penn State’s THON, the student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer and known for its 46-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon.

This year Manheim Central High School is hoping to raise $30,000 during its Mini-THON.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments.

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