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After four weeks of reading “The One and Only Ivan” independently and as a group, and hosting various literacy activities, Bell Top Elementary School finished the book at an assembly on February 17.

Principal Jim McHugh served as the final guest reader.

“It was an honor to be asked to participate in the closing program of the Bell Top Book Club,” said Mr. McHugh, who is serving on a special assignment at Central Administration. “Mrs. Gilligan and Mrs. Cornell began organizing this school-wide literacy initiative three years ago and since that time our students, parents and staff have embraced this annual event. It was absolutely wonderful to see all of our young students excited and eager to read the final pages of ‘The One and Only Ivan!’”

Other activities at the assembly included:

  • Students performing parts of the book to depict the theme of friendship
  • Students presenting writing projects
  • Special Education teachers John Rivera and Stephanie Ferriero revealing the trivia billboard with all of the artwork from trivia winners
  • An announcement that Bell Top had collected $472.91 in change to donate to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered species

“This book project helped students learn the value of friendship and the importance of the humane treatment of animals,” said Principal Marty Mahar. “I am very proud of them.”