It’s not very often that you get a story read to you from members of City Council, the Police Department, North Royalton High School Athletics, and other unique community faces.
As part of Family Literacy Night, hosted March 2 at Royal View Elementary School, students and their families were treated to a night of storytelling from members of the community including Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck, Police Officer Jason Kimmel, North Royalton High School Royalettes Jordan Rozek and Camille Radziszewski, and retired music teacher Laura Nary, among others.
Students were given a punch card to mark as they traveled from classroom to classroom, hearing stories like “A Paper Hug,” read by Councilman Langshaw and “Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude,” read by District Media Specialist Judy Sholtis and Royal View Library Clerk Mary Ellen Watrobski. A completed punch card earned students prizes like bookmarks and pencils. More than 300 people arrived for the event, now in its third year and part of the annual Right to Read Week encouraging young people to nurture their passion for reading. The event coincided with the birthday of Dr. Seuss and many guest readers read titles by the famed author.
As part of the literary fun, a Scholastic Book Fair was set up in the elementary school’s library, with a portion of the proceeds redeemable as “Scholastic Dollars” used by building staff to purchase new reading materials.
“Every year this event seems to get larger with an even greater turnout than the previous year,” said Royal View Principal Kirk Pavelich. “This turnout really speaks to and shows the validity of what we’re doing to promote reading, and how much of a value our entire community puts on literacy.”
Parent Kim Ponting attended the event with her two sons. Alex, 6, is a kindergartner at Royal View. “He absolutely loves Dr. Seuss,” Ponting said. “We’re here tonight because we’re in full support of anything that promotes reading.”
Parent Beckie Sekret, and her three children Isabella, Preston and Owen, also attended the event.
“We read every single night in our house,” Sekret said.
Leigh Fischer of the Royal View PTA served as Chair of the Scholastic Book Fair. “I’m a lifelong reader and I love that the kids love reading so much,” she said.
Right to Read Week was celebrated throughout the school district, the week of Feb. 27-March 3.
At Royal View, students celebrated literacy with an ode to Dr. Seuss, and sat down to watch a play featuring a school-staff cast. Students also enjoyed a special reading-themed visit from a magician, daily announcements about Dr. Seuss and a “Drop Everything and Read” activity where students stopped what they were doing and read when a specific sound was played on the PA system.

Contributing Writer