Clara Oliver Elementary celebrates 100th day of school with guest reader

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Several Dallas ISD schools will celebrate the 100th day of the school year this week, but the activities might not look exactly like they did on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Clara Oliver Elementary School.

John Carter, a former district teacher and founder/executive director of the nonprofit Turner 12, Inc., put on a dress, wig, floppy hat and high heels to become “Grandmama-mama” to read to preK through third-graders. It’s something he’s been doing for years at various schools. His ensemble and persona is loosely based on NBA star Larry Johnson’s Grandmama character.

“It was a way to get kids motivated to read,” Carter said. “This makes it fun for them and I really make the book come alive.”

Carter read the book, Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch. The book’s repeated refrain, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be,” was illustrated by progressively older males in each section. Students watching were tickled at the spectacle. By the last pages of the book, students were saying the words along with Carter and rocking in their seats along with him.

Principal Cheryl Freeman said that her school focuses on reading first in boosting student success. Although the school currently does not have a librarian, she said they often use guests to read to students – including librarians from the Dallas Public Library.

“It all starts with reading,” she said.

On Friday, plans include releasing 100 balloons to signify the students being “100 days smarter” than they were when the year began.

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