Earning leaves through the years
Submitted by Prairie View Elementary School
Twenty years ago, Maurine and Richard Huppert donated and painted the Accelerated Reader Tree at Prairie View Elementary School. They painted the leaves each year, and until a few years ago, Maurine continued to write the names of the leaf earners on their leaf each year.
Maurine said the reason they donated the tree was to recognize students for their academic achievements. Their son was very athletic and was proud to have his name on a plaque, but when his record was broken, his name was taped over with the new record holder's name.
They also thought their daughters may not earn awards for their sporting abilities and wanted them and other students to have the chance to feel special too. They wanted recognition that would be more permanent than the athletic accomplishments were at the time, so the tree was "planted."
Even though their children have left Prairie View, they have enjoyed watching each year as the number and colors of the leaves grew. There were 278 students who earned 496 leaves over the years.
Thank you to Richard and Maurine for this wonderful way to show our students' reading accomplishments. As this tree will not be moving to Ellsworth Elementary School in January, the leaves have been taken off the tree and will be given back to the students who have earned them. Leaves will be sent home with students, siblings, and also sent to the leaf earners at the high school and middle school. They will also be available at the Prairie View's Thankful for the Memories event 2:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. For questions, contact Mary Zimmerman at 715-273-3911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.