Councilwoman donates, reads Chocolate Factory' story to third-graders
Books paid by community foundation given to students
Springhill Lake Elementary School third-graders received a sweet surprise from Prince George's County Councilwoman Ingrid Turner (D-Dist. 4) of Bowie, who donated the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to each student in a class and read aloud chapters of the book.
After touring the school, Turner settled into Shana Sterkin's third-grade class to distribute the books and bookmarks to all 21 students in the class, which was chosen by Principal Natasha Jenkins.
Then she and the students took turns reading the first two chapters.
Turner said she visited the school because she believes in the importance of reading. Turner chose the book at the recommendation of Greenbelt Elementary School Principal Kimberly Seidel because it was separated into chapters, and the students could also compare it to the movie.
The books were paid for by the Prince George's Community Foundation, Turner said.
Occasionally, while reading, Turner would pause and ask students questions about the book to strengthen their comprehension.
"It wasn't just any factory, it was ..." Turner said, not completing her sentence.
"Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory!" the children screamed.
The students' eyes widened as Turner read about ice cream that never melted, chocolate bars with hundreds of fillings and candy robin's eggs.
"I like when they talked about the chocolate," said Francisco Ruiz, 9, of Greenbelt. "It made me want some."
Though the class only made it through two chapters, Turner encouraged them to keep reading at least one chapter a night.
"I liked the book," said Erica Everett, 9, of Greenbelt. "It's nice that Charlie shared [candy] with his grandpa."
Kelly Campos, 9, of Greenbelt liked the grandpa the best.
"I liked that the grandpas were telling stories about Willie Wonka," Kelly said.
Principal Natasha Jenkins said she was pleased with Turner's visit.
"Reading is an important aspect to our children's future. Reading embodies all elements of the real world," Jenkins said. "The students were very excited about receiving and reading the first two chapters with Councilwoman Turner. Many of the students were familiar with the story because it was a movie and they have read the book or parts of the book before."