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Program inspires reading, gives lesson in how to cast a ballot

By Staff | Apr 9, 2011

Students who read three out of 15 books at Oasis Elementary School had the opportunity to vote for their favorite book Friday afternoon, along with the chance to enjoy some treats.
Rhonda Gamboa, school librarian, said she had 91 third, fourth and fifth grade students who earned the right to vote by reading at least three books; 17 students read all 15.
The students began reading the collection in October and finished on April 1.
There are currently 350 third, fourth and fifth grade students at Oasis Elementary. This is the first year Oasis Elementary has gone full force with the program.
The students first had to sign in, so they could receive their ballot, vote at one of the booths and then turn in their ballot before they were given water, candy, a bag of chips and a cupcake.
Vicki Collins, public relations director for Lee County Supervisor of Elections, said Oasis Elementary is the second school they provided with voting material this year for the Sunshine Young Readers Award.
The first was Trafalgar Middle School. She said they enjoy going out into the community to provide the students with the opportunity to vote, so they understand casting a ballot.
“This is fun for them and it’s all books that they had to read to participate in the election,” Collins said.
She said they provided 10 voting booths for the students, along with 100 printed ballots that contained the 15 book titles that the students read.
The students had to follow the same rules that are enforced during a regular election, so they completely understand the voting process.
Collins said they do this to promote the importance of following rules when they vote.
Nicole Williams attended the event Friday afternoon because her fifth grade daughter read five books.
She said the book election was a great way to get her daughter to read more books.
“I think it’s wonderful,” she said of the program.
Piper Roppeot, a fourth grade student , said she read seven books and “11 Birthday’s” was her favorite. She said she enjoys reading books that are not true, but they have some tricks that make it seem true.
“The Seer of Shadows” was Kayla Ramos’ favorite book because of the ghosts and mysteries it entailed.
The fourth grade student said she read six books on the list and liked voting Friday because she could vote for her favorite.
After the votes were tallied the book that won the most votes was “Obi, Gerbil on the Loose.” The students began chanting “Obi” after Gamboa read the results. The other top two books were “Someone Named Eva” and “The Gollywhopper Game.”
Gamboa said she was excited that the Sunshine State Young Readers Award election party went over so well.
“I think it brought a lot of enthusiasm for the students,” she said.
To further the excitement for reading, Gamboa said she will hold a battle of the books competition next month. Students will be competing in groups to answer questions about material they read.