Rapid City Rush players trade their hockey sticks for books to celebrate Read Across America Week at one Box Elder school


Weiland Parrish Turning A Page Of A Book While Reading To Badger Clark StudentsBOX ELDER, S.D.– Though Read Across America week usually starts on March 2, students at Badger Clark Elementary in Box Elder have been getting an early start. Since Monday, special guests from Box Elder and surrounding communities have been stopping by the school library and taking time from their day to read with the students. On Wednesday, players from the Rapid City Rush spent part of their afternoon with the kids. Librarian Kristyn Labine and Rapid City Rush Defenseman Carter Robertson talk more about the event.

What is Read Across America Week?

Read Across America Week is a part of March beginning on March 2 and ending on March 6 to encourage Americans to read and learn about the benefits reading has. Children and young adults tend to be targeted the most during campaigns across the nation. In Box Elder, Badger Clark Elementary students are celebrating it through March 3. To celebrate, students have different dress-up theme days and play games to promote reading both in the library and the classroom. Earlier in the week, guests included Miss South Dakota Hunter Widvey and administrators from the district. “We are celebrating our love of reading. And so there’s also reading bingo that we’re doing and different things that our classes are doing to encourage that love of reading for our students.”

Trading in the puck for a page-turner

For Wednesday’s agenda, Rapid City Rush players Carter Robertson and Weiland Parrish along with mascot Nugget the donkey joined the students in the library. Parrish and Robertson took turns reading to the kids two books selected by Labine– “The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick” by Drew Daywalt and “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. “It was a lot of fun. Hopefully, I wasn’t stumbling and stuttering too much, but they picked a good book for me and it was just super nice to be able to see all the kids in the crowd and with all of their smiling faces.” And while Robertson is working on doing more reading, he did share what his favorite books were when he was younger. “It was probably Geronimo Stilton or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. They are just pretty easy classic books and got me to laugh quite a bit, so those were always my enjoyable books.”

Robertson says that getting to see the kids’ excitement about him and his teammate’s visit reminded him of when guests would visit his school. “To be able to do something, and push these kids to have dreams and goals, it is super nice to be able to be here for them and be a role model for them. And hopefully, they meet their dreams and goals one day.”

What it means to the school

According to Labine, having guests come in and meet with the students goes beyond their Read Across America visit. “I don’t think people appreciate the fact that community can have such an impact on our children and it really doesn’t even matter who is coming in,” she says. “Obviously, they’re excited about the Rush, but they are just excited that people care enough to want to take that time out of their day to come and read to them.” On Friday, the school will close out the week with a visit from the mayor of Box Elder, Larry Larson.

Categories: Local News, Rush Hockey, South Dakota News