Stoughton's West Elementary School was Wild About Reading in 2012

West School students participated in an incentive based reading program in 2012, earning the school a special visit from Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster.

Not all New Year's resolutions are broken; just ask the students at the in Stoughton. 

At an assembly in January, after returning from winter vacation, a new reading initiative was unveiled and students and staff made a resolution to read more in 2012.

And for keeping this resolution, students were treated with a special visit from Wally the Green Monster, the famed Red Sox mascot, on May 24. 

Wally came to the West School gym and read "Hello, Wally!" written by for former Red Sox player and NESN commentator Jerry Remy. He also helped to lead a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Wally and the Red Sox donated five books to the West School library. Each student also received a bookmark.

At the time of Wally's visit, West students had collectively read 927 books. 

As part of their New Year's resolution, in honor of their own mascot, the West School Wildcat, the school's hallways were lined with paw prints for each book read.

The student body earned incentives for reaching various targets.  The first 100 paws earned students 10 minutes of extra recess; 275 paws earned students a "no homework night"; 450 paws earned students 15 minutes of extra recess; and 800 paws earned students a grade-level game outside.

The final incentive was the surprise visitor to the West (Wally), which required the paws to circle all the way around the halls of the entry level of the school. 

"We're just so impressed with the response [to the program]," West School Reading Teacher Laurie Higgins said.

"It's good for us to read as many books [as we can]. It's really fun," said third grader Danielle Marrocco. 

Danielle said she likes how "you can use your imagination" when reading.

Fellow third grader Karissa McPherson said she would rather read than watch T.V. She said reading offers her a "relaxing moment."

When he reads a good book, fourth grader Isaac Cote said he feels like "I'm really in the story." 

Brent Henry, also in fourth grade, said he enjoys the middle part of a book, where the characters sort out problems and conflicts. 

While the West School community was rewarded for its efforts, Principal Brendan Dearborn reminded the students when Wally came to visit that "we're not done reading." 

The hope is it will be something they remain wild about.  


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