I’m a huge fan of reading. I have the best memories of reading books in elementary school. My career in magic literally began from a book, and my memories of growing up include sneaking out of bed at night to read Genii magic magazine, taking Bobo’s Coin Magic on vacations, and wearing out my copy of Expert Card Technique reading it on the bus going to and from school.
Today I spend a lot of time in the car, so it’s a great opportunity to listen to books on CD. This week it’s been Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Robin Hood. But I listen to more educational titles, too!
My Reading Magic school assembly show encourages kids to turn off the TV and tune in to the fun and thrill of reading books. Sultan Elementary students keep a “reading calendar” tracking their out-of-school reading minutes. Those who reached their reading goal for three consecutive months got out of class to attend my assembly during school.
Local business Vick’s Burger Shack has offered a wonderful special promotion: any student who reads a classic of literature as part of their reading program receives a free coupon for a meal at their Burger Shack. Many students have done this, enjoying a story they probably wouldn’t have otherwise read AND enjoying a treat from Vick’s Burger Shack. Kevin Vick, one of the brothers who owns and operates the Shack, was even at the morning Reading Magic assembly. He told me to stop by the Shack for free lunch on him. Of course, I was happy to make one of their cheeseburgers, fries, and a glass of on-tap root beer disappear.
It’s always great when the local media covers positive school events like successful literacy programs. Reporter Chris Henrickson was at my Reading Magic assembly and published an article on Sultan Elementary’s reading program in the Monroe Monitor and Valley News.
A special thanks to Xtreme Consulting of Kirkland who helped sponsor my day and evening performances. Kids who met their reading minutes goal received a free ticket to attend the evening show. The PTO had over a hundred bags of popcorn and dozens and dozens of assorted candy bars, beverages, and snacks available that evening. All of the kids with free admission tickets were in the drawing for prizes donated by the PTO, local businesses, and Xtreme Consulting.
Programs like this don’t just happen on their own, and PTO president Polly deserves all of the credit for this. She worked tirelessly to find a sponsor, post fliers promoting the show all over town, and coordinated the concessions and ticket sales for the evening show. My poster was even in a glass display case in the Post Office. Normally I don’t like seeing my photo at the Post Office, but this was an exception!