Central New York , Education

Delaware Primary and Academy Schools Kick Off Literacy Goal

Rick Martinez as Jack Sparrow reads to students at the Delaware School’s read-a-thon. (c) 2017 Matthew Cooper

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Captain Jack Sparrow Inspires Students to Read

Rick Martinez acts as the famous pirate at Delaware Elementary School's read-a-thon.

By Matthew Cooper SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — A local Syracuse school’s students and staff pledged to read more than one million words in the next few weeks to show their commitment to reading.

Delaware Primary and Delaware   School administrators are challenging their students and staff to combine to read one million words from March 1 to March 24. To start up the challenge, the school hosted a read-a-thon on Wednesday where parents and other employed members of the community came in to read to the students.

Also, in the hallways of the school were mats with words on them where students would jump and read out the word.  that promote One Million Hops to Literacy. Eli Hernández, the school’s principal, leads this project as research shows that 80 percent of children are kinesthetic learners (learn best through movement), according to the Syracuse City School District. This is similar to the school’s Math & Movement programs.

Another goal from today’s read-a-thon was for the students to learn about the visitor’s careers. One guest, however, was more interesting to the students than the others.

Rick Martinez, a trained actor and set designer, dressed as the Captain Jack Sparrow the famous character from the Disney “Pirates of Caribbean” franchise.

“The coolest thing is when I am not in my Captain Jack costume kids will come up to me at Wegmans and they will tell their parents that’s Captain Jack in disguise and they will tell me what new books they got,” Martinez said.

Martinez who works with Literacy Volunteers out of Auburn and also works closely with local libraries where he reads to the kids then in their summer reading programs realizes what can come if the kids are inspired to read.

“If we can get them encouraged to read more, and more often, then we are good to go,” Martinez said. “It makes me feel good that I am making that little bit of difference.”