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Storytimes are now online courtesy of school staffers

Davis School Dragon Reads

Davis Elementary School in College Place has added more daily story times for students on its Facebook platform.

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The clarion call to read stories to students online came from Beaumont, Texas, Principal Belinda George who came up with “Tucked in by the principal Tuesdays.” The groundswell gained fans in the region and cross country following media outlet reports.

Efforts to ramp up digital story times, which started in the Walla Walla Valley nearly a year ago, are being made in the wake of school closures in the Walla Walla Valley because of coronavirus-induced social distancing.

Davis School Vice Principal Chris Plucker and Justin Bradford are sharing the mission with their students. They launched the “Davis Reads” Facebook page in early March 2019. Justin is director of special education for College Place Public Schools.

The Davis Elementary Facebook story time is now being offered live three times a day to help families of students.

Just this Wednesday, College Place Public Schools K-2 speech and language pathologist Camille Chinn Granitz posted a video of herself reading from books about emotions and feelings.

“Right now all of our normal, regular lives have changed. This causes many emotions. There could have been excitement about a long break from school at first but now you could be feeling, sad, bored, worried, or even scared. Talk to adults in your home about how you are feeling. There are 4 stories for you to watch. Watch for activities to be posted (today).”

Her first read is “The Way I Feel.” “I miss you. Comment with an emotion sticker or emoji to tell me how you feel,” she concluded. Find Davis School storytellers at ubne.ws/3byq4M1.

First-grade teacher Elizabeth Ruthven reads “The Day My Teacher Burned the Popcorn” at ubne.ws/2WJStdG.

Berney School principal Michelle Carpenter heard about the reading idea on Twitter. She’s paid it forward by offering the experience to her students.

Colleague Sheila Hagar wrote about Michelle’s program in a May 3, 2019, U-B article.

Developing good reading habits at home is important, educators stress. Now, more than ever, with social distancing in place in the age of coronavirus, this is a key way to stay in touch and share the joy of reading.

Michelle told Sheila, “I know kids don’t get to read enough. I thought this was a good way, or another way, to connect with my kids. ‘Principal’ is such an authoritarian role. Now kids have seen my house, they’ve met my dogs, we had my son in one.”

COVID-19 may cancel group’s projects, but not bird spotting

The Saturday scheduled highway cleanup project sponsored by the nonprofit Blue Mountain Audubon Society has been canceled in light of the coronavirus pandemic, said the group in a release.

The good news is the group will tackle roadside debris cleanup when it can be rescheduled. They also planned to head to Othello for the Sandhill Crane Festival, but that one was canceled.

In the meantime anyone can report bird sightings to the group by emailing housewren084@gmail.com. Barn owls are another bird the group keeps tabs on and Chris Howard is the go-to with questions at chrish.734@gmail.com.

BMAS emails The Magpiper newsletter nine months each year, see blumtn.org for details.

BMAS serves its members and community while appreciating, preserving and enjoying birds and wildlife and the natural environment. Its volunteers provide education, conservation and enjoyment opportunities to members and the public.

Once the all-clear is called to safely resume group gatherings, the chapter will resume hosting field trips and monthly meetings on the Whitman College campus in Olin Hall. Check the website for a schedule of event times and dates.

The Magpiper chapter newsletter is published nine months of each calendar year and delivered via email only. Details about subscribing are on the website.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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