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Prime Time: Reader's Theater brings performance to elementary schools

From left, Reader's Theater members Allen Benson, Helen Thelander, Ruth Hoefakker, Mary Olson, Kathy Burger, Dorothy Prigge, Sandi Smith, Vickie Brown pose in their "Four Hens and a Rooster" costumes. Submitted Photo

Recently, local elementary children had the opportunity to enjoy a play by the Reader's Theater from Bemidji.

This energetic group of senior volunteers with a passion for helping and entertaining children presented the play "Four Hens and a Rooster" to Little Falls Lincoln Elementary School students and Pierz Elementary School students to engage the children on the topic of bullying. After the play, the group discussed bullying in the schools and ways children can stand up for themselves. Handouts on bullying were given to the school staff for discussion with the students.

Reader's Theater, which is part of Horizon Health Inc. RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) America Reads Program, uses classic children's books and writes these stories into theater scripts. Using the scripts and some silly props and costumes, the volunteers perform for children. The mission of Reader's Theater is to instill a love for reading along with developing children's creative imagination. RSVP America Reads volunteers help children improve their reading ability by reading to a child or group of children, helping children learn new words and understanding what they have just read, as well as listening to a child read. Reading one-to-one with a student or small group of children has an immediate positive impact on the young readers.

As with many RSVP activities, the collaboration of Reader's Theater and the school is a wonderful inter-generational project that becomes a positive experience for the children, the community and the volunteers.

For more information on becoming part a RSVP volunteer, contact Tammy Jopp, Horizon Health's RSVP Director, at 320-468-6451 or 800-224-6451.