Second-grader from Wyoming Area Catholic wins WVIA Summer Reading Challenge

By Mary Therese Biebel - [email protected]
Kirsten Smith, grants administrator and director of education at WVIA-TV, talks to the students at Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School about the value of reading. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School teacher Mary Ann Paddock-Kaminski, left, coordinated the visit from WVIA’s Kirsten Smith. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Morgan Madar raises her hand in response to a teacher’s question about where she was in the auditorium on Monday. The 7-year-old didn’t know in advance that a representative of WVIA-TV was about to present her with an award for winning WVIA’s 2018 Summer Reading Challenge. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Kirsten Smith, WVIA grants administrator & director of education, presents 7-year-old Morgan Madar with her award for meeting the reading challenge. - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
The 2018 WVIA Summer Reading Challenge winner Morgan Madar stands with her parents, Colleen and John Madar of West Wyoming. - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

EXETER — Ask 7-year-old Morgan Madar about her favorite book and the second-grader from Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School will tell you it’s “Cattitude: The Coolest Cats on the Internet.”

Perhaps she’s influenced by Dexter, her own furry pet, who likes to sit next to her when she’s reading aloud at home.

Whether or not Dexter is listening as his young mistress reads, the little girl enjoys exploring the world of words.

She’s been so enthusiastic, in fact, she’s devoted more than 1,100 minutes to reading over the past few months and was named a winner in WVIA’s 2018 Summer Reading Challenge.

“We’re quite surprised that she achieved greatness this way,” said a delighted Wyoming Area Catholic teacher Mary Ann Paddock-Kaminski, who welcomed WVIA-TV’s Grants Administrator & Director of Education Kirsten Smith to the school earlier this week.

On Monday afternoon, Smith presented the little girl with a framed certificate in honor of her zeal for reading, a habit that has been fostered by her parents, Colleen and John Madar, of West Wyoming.

“When Morgan was born, a teacher told me to ‘always surround your child by books.’ That way they are familiar with books and they’re not afraid of reading,” Colleen Madar said.

Though as a mom she doesn’t have as much time to read for pleasure as she once did, Colleen Madar admits she’s a fan of Harry Potter. Maybe when Morgan is a little older, she’ll read that series about the boy wizard, too.

For now, she’s more likely to read about the riding-the-school-bus or hiding-in-the-clothes-hamper adventures of a character named Junie B. Jones, or choose a book about the weather.

“She really enjoyed books about storms and lightning,” said Colleen Madar, who urged her daughter to read three books a day over the summer break.

“She exceeded that goal on her own,” Madar said. “She was reading between five and seven books a day, because she was enjoying it.”

Eight PBS stations across Pennsylvania participated in the summer challenge, Smith said, and children across the state recorded in work books how many minutes per day they spent reading.

The local PBS affiliated presented awards to Morgan as well as to another child, Vivian Sedlack from Susquehanna County, who also read for more than 1,100 minutes, Smith said. Vivian and Morgan are both winners in the Kindergarten through second grade division of the contest.

Kirsten Smith, grants administrator and director of education at WVIA-TV, talks to the students at Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School about the value of reading.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_WAC-Reader-Winner-1-2.jpgKirsten Smith, grants administrator and director of education at WVIA-TV, talks to the students at Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School about the value of reading. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School teacher Mary Ann Paddock-Kaminski, left, coordinated the visit from WVIA’s Kirsten Smith.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_WAC-Reader-Winner-2-2.jpgWyoming Area Catholic Elementary School teacher Mary Ann Paddock-Kaminski, left, coordinated the visit from WVIA’s Kirsten Smith. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Morgan Madar raises her hand in response to a teacher’s question about where she was in the auditorium on Monday. The 7-year-old didn’t know in advance that a representative of WVIA-TV was about to present her with an award for winning WVIA’s 2018 Summer Reading Challenge.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_WAC-Reader-Winner-3-2.jpgMorgan Madar raises her hand in response to a teacher’s question about where she was in the auditorium on Monday. The 7-year-old didn’t know in advance that a representative of WVIA-TV was about to present her with an award for winning WVIA’s 2018 Summer Reading Challenge. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Kirsten Smith, WVIA grants administrator & director of education, presents 7-year-old Morgan Madar with her award for meeting the reading challenge.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_WAC-Reader-Winner-4-2.jpgKirsten Smith, WVIA grants administrator & director of education, presents 7-year-old Morgan Madar with her award for meeting the reading challenge. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

The 2018 WVIA Summer Reading Challenge winner Morgan Madar stands with her parents, Colleen and John Madar of West Wyoming.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_WAC-Reader-Winner-5-2.jpgThe 2018 WVIA Summer Reading Challenge winner Morgan Madar stands with her parents, Colleen and John Madar of West Wyoming. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

By Mary Therese Biebel

[email protected]

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT