Christmas Joy and Literacy at Reading All the Way Drive-Thru

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By Nalani Lopez

Salt River Elementary School students and their families filled the Accelerated Learning Academy’s parking lot in festively decorated cars for the Reading All the Way Drive-Thru event on December 12.

The event’s theme was inspired by “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Arizona,” a children’s book by Jennifer J. Stewart. The book follows a young girl, Isabella, as she learns about Arizona through her cousin Carlos’s Christmas gifts.

The book adapts the Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” for the Sonoran Desert, with 12 Mules a-Hauling, 11 Sleds a-Sliding, 10 Sheep a-Leaping, 9 Cowboys Singing, 8 Planets Whirling, 7 Fish a-Jumping, 6 Handmade Treasures, 5 Golden Horns, 4 Hummingbirds, 3 Hard Hats, 2 Tortoises, and A Cactus Wren in a Palo Verde.

The book was chosen as part of a collaboration between SRES and the Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) Literacy for All grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Through events like the Reading All the Way Drive-Thru, the grant empowers SRPMIC students and educators with literacy skillsets and opportunities. By inspiring students to embrace reading and writing, the grant hopes to improve career pathways for children later in life.

Families and students could see elements of a desert Christmas in the decorations as they drove through the course.

Prizes were given to cars with the best holiday spirit and best decorations. Prizes included Legos, puzzles, tote bags and a copy of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” book.

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